The Sandcastle Times - June 2020
"Building Strong Foundations for a Lifetime of Learning"
A message from Holly Bevilacqua, COO
June has arrived! We are happy to see many of you returning to work and our community opening up again.
There are many guidelines set up in our State to keep our community safe. With that said, Carelot has been able to institute each guideline that was given to us from The CT Office Early Childhood as they occured. Our centers are set up with triage stations at each entrance, masks are required for all adults in the building, we have encouraged same person pick up and drop off, we are keeping our children in the same groups, staffing has been consistant, our group sizes do not exceed 10 (8 in under 3 programs), we have set up individual activity/art kits for each child to use, while keeping our curriculum and daily schedules routine for the children. We thank you for your patience as we all learn and work together as our world changes daily. We are working daily with our team, legislatures and Licensing specialists to face these challenging times for Child Care in today's world.
The summer is just around the corner and Carelot is ready! Our staff have been working on planning lessons, activities, organizing classrooms, and working together to make this a fun summer for the children.
Due to the group size requirements, we have limited spaces available for care so we encourage anyone returning to contact your site manager asap to secure your space. Our school age programs are also in full swing and Camp will take place in East Lyme, Brooklyn and Killingly this summer. Unfortunately, Our Camp at The Friendship School will not be open due to the decision made by the Waterford First Selectman to not allow us to use our space at the school. This makes us sad, but will do our best to accomodate as many children as possible in our Centers.
Our end of the "school year" conferences have been cancelled but feel free to make a call or set up a zoom conference call if you wish to discuss any items regarding your child's growth and developement. We look forward to seeing our children come back to regular care and watch all of their milestones and accomplishments!
Check out the upcoming events happening at each program! Keep up to date by checking out our website calendar or joining our Facebook page. Each month we add new pictures and updates! All of our events will follow the Covid-19 guidelines for social distancing and safety for our staff, children and families.
Thank you for your patience as we get through this together!
Ready for TJ MAXX!
This has been a difficult few months for many of us and we all miss your children very much.
We are looking forward to see you all in our Camp program or next fall in our Clubhouse program.
We will keep you update this summer on details for the 2020-2021 School year program. Please be sure your current email is on file and follow our facebook page as well as our website.
Summer Camp is here- Due to limitations on group size and building capacities that we are mandated to follow, spaces are limited - Please be sure you contact us to join camp asap.
Question of the month: What staff member has made a difference at Carelot for you and your family?"
Congratulations to Nicole R. (Fordson's Mom) for submitted and answer to last months question. She suggested new playground equipment - Congrats for submitting- You will receive a $25 tuition credit!!!!
Our Spring Fundraiser (Krispy Kreme Donut Sale) was set to raise funds for playground items. It is definitely an item we would like to work on at all of our sites. If you or someone you know is cleaning out and have little tykes equipment or outdoor items, please send them our way!
Just a few reminders:
Waterplay:We will keep you updated on Waterplay as the summer weather approaches. We will be using only sprinklers for the children on our playgrounds or single use sensory buckets.
- Playground Safety: please have your child wear closed toe shoes— the playground terrain can be harsh on little toes!
- Confidentiality: It is contrary to the interest of the Centers and those we serve to give out information regarding children and their families. Carelot maintains confidentiality and respects the family’s right to privacy, refraining from disclosure of information and intrusion into family life. However, when we have reason to believe that a child’s welfare is at risk, Carelot will share confidential information with agencies as well as with individuals who have legal responsibility for intervening in the child's best interest. Disclosure of children’s records beyond the family member, program personnel and consultants having an obligation of confidentiality shall require familial consent (except in cases of child abuse or neglect ) Should you request that we speak with outside sources for any reason, please complete a release of information form. Staff will work together and information will be discussed only when it will benefit the care we offer the children and/or their parents. All children’s files and assessments are also kept confidential.
- Labeling Snacks and Lunches: Please be sure to label items in your child’s lunchbox!!! Thank for you cooperation!
- Contagious diseases: Information sheets are sent home to programs if a child has a contagious disease which includes information on symptoms, procedures and prevention. (illnesses such as, Covide-19, coxsackie, strep, pink eye, etc) This is to keep you abreast on illnesses your child may be exposed. At this time we will continue assessing each individual as they enter our building.
PROVIDER APPRECIATION: Thank you to all the families who sent kind words to our staff. We appreciate all they do and commend them for being essential workers each and every day. We look forward to celebrating sometime in the future the Carelot Way!
Fundraiser: We are still hoping to bring back our Krispy Kreme fundraiser in the near future. Stay tuned for updates.
Slumber Club has been discontinued at this time due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Shop on AMAZON! Father's Day, on June 16, is a major shopping holiday and a great time to increase your AmazonSmile donations. With the below copy and banners, simply remind your supporters to shop at smile.amazon.com to generate donations for Carelot Childrens Center PTO.Turn your Father's Day shopping into a force for good. Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/31-1653526 and Amazon donates to Carelot Childrens Center PTO.
We like to occasionally remind families about the importance of nutritious meals for young children. Although packing meals at home for school is time consuming, the types of foods that your child finds in his or her lunch box help to determine the energy that he or she has for participating in school activities. When selecting lunches, please consider those that are low in fat, sodium and sugar. For example, some of the ready-made snacks or lunch meals look appealing, but are low on nutritional value. It may take a few minutes, but it is worth your time to make a peanut butter or cheese sandwich and add a piece of fruit. Yogurt and fresh fruit make nutritious snacks. Please help educate your child about nutritious eating and snacking so that he or she will benefit from these lessons now and in the future!
Check out Pinterest for some great school lunch ideas!
Wish list items- Drop off at any Carelot location outside the front door.
Any old working Ipads, Iphones or tablets for our classrooms!
Outdoor bikes or toys (sandtoys, hula hoops, balls, badmitton, cornhole etc) you are retiring.
Sensory Items: uncooked pasta, beans, rice, shaving cream, birdseed, waterbeads, cornstarch, feed corn, bubble bath, etc..
Small bottles of Bubbles for each child to use.
CLEANING SUPPLIES: Disinfecting spray or wipes- gloves - (we are having trouble getting supplies we need on a daily basis.)
In case you missed it- Letter from Larry Bevilacqua, CEO
May 28, 2020
Dear Carelot Children’s Center Families,
I am reaching out to you all today to touch base on several issues. First, a covid -19 update, second a call for assistance and finally a thank you for your support.
As we all have been dealing with our ever changing world around us, Carelot has been doing it's best to be a consistent part of our families lives. We are proud to say that we have remained open throughout this crisis with personal and financial sacrifices. Our executive team has supported our sites, communities and families by working despite the inability to be paid. Our center staff, have braved the virus threat and worked through the many regulatory changes and health concerns. Our executive team fought to receive the PPP loan program and got all of our employees back to work. We continue to fight to receive the funds that will support our staff and first responders through the Cares Act. Our families and communities have supported our programs with continued tuition payments and donation of masks, gloves and other necessary supplies to keep our children and staff safe. As we continue to live with this new world, we have instituted required changes such as having a staff available for drop off and pick up daily to assess temperatures at the door and greet our families. We have reduced both group and ratio sizes. We have added additional cleaning schedules and staff to make sure our programs stay clean and virus free. We will continue to do all that we need to so that we can be here for our families and our communities.
Now I need to come to you all again for your support. As we face these trying times we must remain fiscally sound. This means that we must make up for the extra staff costs, supply costs and reduced enrollment by adding a Covid - 19 fee to our tuition rates. I must let you know that effective August 1, 2020 our rates were increasing as part of the Minimum wage increases that will be going into affect this year as I discussed last year for current families and July 1, 2020 for new enrollments.
In addition, due to Covid - 19 we will be adding a $25.00 a week fee to offset the costs incurred to deal with the virus and it's new regulations and changes beginning the week of June 29th (June 26th billing). This fee will go away once we can return to normal practices affecting group size, center capacity and other measures affecting the cost of managing our centers. We know that this is difficult, but without this fee, we also know, that we would not be able to remain open. We are fighting for the bail out of Child Care in America that several US senators have proposed and we hope that the country sees the need for this so that we do not have to place this burden on the families in need. Until then, however, we must come to our families to ensure that we will remain open in the short term and thus be around for the long term.
The new rate sheet is attached and the weekly Covid-19 fee will be added seperately, so that we can easily remove that either when funds are received from the government to support our programs or when the regulations are returned to normal.
Thank you for all the support that you all have provided to our staff and communities. Those families of essential employees and front line workers have been able to continue to receive care in a safe nurturing environment. My team and I will continue to fight for support for our families and our services with local, state and national government. We will continue to find ways to help you cut these costs and will do every application and grant program that we can find. Please know that these processes do take time to create, manage and then finally fund. We are diligently working with the OEC and state government to get the funds all of our first responders and essential employees need to support their child care costs.
We have proudly served our communities for over 23 years and look forward to continuing to do so for the next quarter century. As always, thank you for your support and your trust in helping build strong foundations for a life time of learning in our children and your families.
Larry J. Bevilacqua, CEO
(rates can be found at www.carelot.net)
Potty Training Tips!
Tips on establishing a daytime routine -If your child shows interest in using the potty, that's great. You have just cleared a big hurdle. Now it is time to begin the training. The first goal is for the child to stay dry while awake. Here are some tips on establishing a daytime routine.
Make frequent trips to the bathroom. You can't force your child to urinate or produce a bowel movement, but you can encourage him to practice. Have your child sit on the potty for 2 to 4 minutes every hour or so. Schedule these sittings close to times your child usually has a bowel movement or urination, such as just after a meal, snack or nap. Remember that you cannot control when your child urinates or has a bowel movement.
Know when it's time to stop. Don't expect performance at first. If your child can't urinate or produce a bowel movement after 2 to 4 minutes, it's time to try later. If your child protests strongly when you suggest s/he return to the potty, don't insist. Such resistance may mean that it is not the right time to start training.
Let your child learn from you and others. Children are often interested in their family's bathroom activities. It is sometimes helpful to let children watch parents, older brothers and sisters, trusted friends, and even relatives when they go to the bathroom. Seeing these people use the toilet makes children want to do the same.
Involve your child in getting dressed/undressed. Let your child practice lowering and raising their underwear or training pants sometimes, or putting them on and taking them off.
Have boys sit before standing. Have a boy start out sitting to minimize sprays and dribbles on the walls and floors.
Respect your child's feelings and privacy. Potty training focuses on the most personal and private parts of your child's body so proceed in a dignified respectful manner. Some children need privacy and will not go if anyone is looking or is in the bathroom with them. Respect this.
Expect some fooling around. Expect some fooling around by toddlers. For example, when they go through the phase of saying "no" to everything, their "no" does not always really mean "no." In short, if you ask your toddler if s/he needs to go potty and are met with a resounding "no," this response may sometimes have little to do with your question. This is all part of learning to read your child and becoming familiar with all forms of communication.
Accentuate the positive. Be positive. Pour on the praise. Parents should recognize and applaud all the things that kids do right during the potty training process, instead of focusing on things children forget to do or haven't done perfectly. For example, if children wash their hands, but forget to flush, parents should congratulate them on their nice, clean hands.