Early Education Newsletter

March 2022

Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant Round 2

A second round of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants is available for Indiana child care and out-of-school-time providers. Check the Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant webpage for the latest information and details. Deadline to apply is April 15, 2022


Early childhood and school-age programs are eligible to apply if they were licensed and/or registered to operate by March 11, 2021, (if not CCDF eligible) or Jan. 14, 2022, if active in the CCDF program. Programs must be in good standing, open and serving children on the date of application, and meeting state and local health requirements. Head Start and Early Head Start grant recipients are not eligible.

Build, Learn, Grow Scholarships Extended

For families with qualifying incomes, classified as essential workers, the state of Indiana can cover 80% of your child care costs for kids up to age 12. That even includes before-school and after-school care.

New applications must be submitted by March 31, 2022 to be eligible for the scholarship to be extended through June 2022.

Visit https://brighterfuturesindiana.org/scholarships/families to learn more and apply.

For a toolkit to share this opportunity with families visit https://brighterfuturesindiana.org/build-learn-grow/family-toolkit

Business Supports through SPARK

Get free guidance from a child care business coach to strengthen your business through the pandemic and beyond!

Connect with a business consultant through live Q&A sessions and one-on-one coaching calls at no cost to you. Your business consultant can:
• Assist you in identifying key areas in your business to utilize relief funding
• Help you define and reach goals to increase revenue and decrease costs
• Offer best practices and tools to operate your child care business
• Create action steps to help you move forward with confidence

We encourage you to take advantage of this no-cost, professional consultation for child care providers that could make a big difference to your child care business.

Look for the button on the homepage of indianaspark.com to schedule your FREE consultation.

Provider Recognition Round 1

Congratulations to these SDA 4 child care providers for being recognized for their dedication to early care and education from the OECOSL:

Ellen Vaughn, Helping Hands Daycare

Haley Davidson, First Friends

Hannah Singer, ISU Early Childhood Ed Center

Laura Dalton, Clark-Pleasant Preschool

Shena Gordon, ISU ECEC Infant Toddler Program

Abbott Voluntarily Recalls Powder Formulas Manufactured at One Plant

Abbott (NYSE: ABT) is initiating a proactive, voluntary recall of powder formulas, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare manufactured in Sturgis, Mich., one of the company's manufacturing facilities. The recall does not include any metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas.

Abbott is voluntarily recalling these products after four consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed powder infant formula manufactured in this facility.

Additionally, as part of Abbott's quality processes, we conduct routine testing for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens in our manufacturing facilities. During testing in our Sturgis, Mich., facility, we found evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant in non-product contact areas. We found no evidence of Salmonella Newport. This investigation is ongoing. Learn more.

Professional Development

Indiana Afterschool Network Presents: Social and Emotional Learning for All

Mar 2, 2022 10:00 AM
Mar 9, 2022 10:00 AM

Indiana Afterschool Network is thrilled to partner with Adam Saenz and The Applied EQ Group to bring the next topic in the Trailblazer Virtual Series!

Research is clear: students and adults benefit from properly implemented SEL programs. Is it possible that SEL programs exclude any students or adults, and if so, what can we do to expand SEL’s positive effect? This two-part series will explore what effective SEL programs are intended to accomplish, how students and adults might fall into programmatic blind spots, and practical strategies we can take to increase the likelihood of including everyone. Register here.

Farm to Early Childhood Education Learning Series

The Farm to Early Childhood Education Learning Series will take ECE staff through a general overview and greater detail into the three pillars of Farm to School: school gardens, ag and nutrition education, and local procurement. Each topical session will look at the what, where, why, and how and provide case study examples of Indiana ECE centers participating in Farm to School activities. Each session will leave time for Q&A, and the presenters will provide a list of resources for each topic area.

Farm to Early Childhood Education Learning Series- Part 1: School Gardens
March 3 @ 10:00 am EST
Farm to Early Childhood Education Learning Series- Part 2: Agriculture and Nutrution Education
March 10 @ 2:00 pm EST
Farm to Early Childhood Education Learning Series- Part 3: Procurement
March 17 @ 2:00 pm EST

To register, login or create an account at ilead.in.gov, click the green "Start Your Indiana Learning Path" button, choose "Courses" on the left-hand side, and search "Farm" in the top search bar.

Baby Talk: Building Stronger Relationships with Infants and Toddlers

MARCH 3, 2022

3:00 P.M. EST

Research shows that the majority of brain development occurs in the first few years of a child’s life. The skills that an infant and toddler learn become the foundation for more complex social, emotional, and cognitive abilities later in life. So, how can educators create routines and interact with infants and toddlers in a way that best supports this critical period of learning?

This webinar will focus on strategies that early childhood educators can use to promote effective language and cognitive development of infants and toddlers. And, get concrete examples of what impactful interactions look like in different child care settings. Click here to register.

Inspirations from Reggio Emilia for a STEM-Infused Environment, Dr. Vicki Carper Bartolini

MARCH 9, 2022

2:00 PM Eastern Time

From her recently published book, Creating a Reggio-Inspired STEM Environment for Young Children, award-winning educator Dr. Vicki Carper Bartolini offers practical suggestions and resources for teachers to re-envision their early learning environments with a focus on STEM. Using the Reggio Emilia lens that honors the right of children to a wondrous learning environment, the author guides participants in how they might consider children’s competencies as they collaboratively engage in STEM investigations. Click here for more information.

Save the Date: Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning

The Indiana Afterschool Network is excited to announce their 11th annual Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning - Indiana's premier conference designed specifically for out-of-school time providers and champions.

The Summit brings together youth programs, community partners, and educators to connect, explore new ideas, access valuable resources, and advance learning beyond the school day for Indiana's youth. Together we can work to make lasting change for Indiana's kids and professionals that help them grow.

This year's summit will be taking place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Noblesville Indianapolis Conference Center on May 24-25, 2022.

Follow Indiana Afterschool Network on social media to receive updates on this event and more.

The Summit is hosted in partnership between the Indiana Afterschool Network and the Indiana Department of Education


Six Self-Care Activities for Kids

Kids of all ages require time to relax, refresh and recharge, especially as they get older and more active in school or extracurricular activities. Self-care activities for children, along with their families, can help them slow down and relax while hopefully feeling less tired, stressed or anxious.

Participating in self-care activities at a young age can help children develop a routine that will benefit them as they grow and even into adulthood. That sense of routine teaches children how to care for themselves and develops the skills they need to stay healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. Click here to learn more.

Cut Out the Pre-Cuts: The Trouble with Themes in Early Childhood Education

Every year early childhood programs are faced with the choice—to theme or not to theme? Themes are like worksheets, they represent a school model. I admit I used themes when I began my career in early childhood education. As an eager and ambitious teacher, I was anxious that the theme of the week that I had chosen was represented and visible. The easiest way to do that was the use of pre-cut shapes or as I referred to them, “cut outs”. I can remember sitting in the sleep room cutting out 30 turkeys for Thanksgiving, and how tedious it was to do! Fundamentally this practice was very short sighted on a number of levels. The greatest issue that I now see, in retrospect, is that themes are teacher directed and teacher owned. The trouble with cut outs is that they greatly restrict a child’s creativity and individuality. Read more.

5 Tips for Building a Reciprocal Relationship with Parents of Young Children

For early intervention professionals, successfully supporting a young child’s development begins with building a trusting relationship with the family. Caregivers are the experts on their children, and between visits, they’re the ones who will be implementing interventions and making the most of natural learning opportunities. Your efforts to understand and support parents and other family members will make them more receptive to learning from you—and using what they learn long after your visit is over. Read more.

Resources for Familes

How to Inspire Generosity in Children

It's important to help our children understand the need to give back, provide, share, and act generously. If we (as parents) act generously in front of children, they will learn how to give more freely. Read more.

How Four Deep Breaths Can Help Kids Calm Down

It’s one of the first things parents and teachers tell a child who gets upset: “Take a deep breath.” But research into the effect of deep breathing on the body’s stress response has overwhelmingly ignored young children—and studies done with adults typically take place in a university lab, making them even less applicable to children’s actual lives. Read more.

FAMILY WEBINAR: Teaching Children Healthy Boundaries ~ Thursday, March 17th at 2pm

Setting healthy boundaries can be challenging even for adults, but not having or knowing how to set boundaries can be even more problematic. Boundaries help us to understand and respect our own needs as well as the needs of others. Join CASY's family engagement specialists as we discuss empowering our children to set their own boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.

Register here.