Early Childcare Program

Ms. Deb and Ms. "C"

Early Childcare Program 2020-2021

ECP Fall Happenings 2020-21

What a different world we are living in yet at the The Early Childhood Program at the Career Center we are making the best of the situation. Students were so glad to return to the classroom live. All students are following Career Center protocol for mask wearing and social distancing. We are so proud of the students who show pride in returning to the classroom.

The Early Childhood Program students are busy preparing art lessons for the Colorado Preschool Program. Some of the preparatory work that has been completed so far includes a brief research on developmental milestones for physical development, how to prepare paint lesson plan prepared by Ms. Deb, and observations of the preschool children. Students will present their lesson virtually to the preschool children sometime mid-September. We are excited to use technology in this way!

In addition to our art lesson plans students have been working on a certificate in “Standard Precautions”. This industry certification is necessary for all students to have in order to go into our preschool setting. We will be prepared for that date when the county allows us to go into the classroom. Currently we can only observe or do things virtually as a matter of COVID protocol.

Parents I look forward to talking with you via “Google Meet” or phone conversations. Know that I am available via email at debbie.neill@d51schools.org or you can call me at 970-254-6000 ext. 21111 for any questions or concerns. It has been a pleasure learning about your child this month and I look forward to our future learning experiences together.

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The students in the Early Childcare Program are actively working on certificate training necessary from the State of Colorado for early childhood providers. We currently have students certified in the following areas :

  • Universal Precautions
  • Food Handlers Card
  • Recognizing, Responding, and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

This month Ms. "C" will be introducing our simulation baby program where the students will learn first hand how difficult it is to care for an infant. More information to follow about this favorite activity in the Early Childcare Program.

Be sure to donate to our "Toasty Toes" sock drive for Homeward Bound shelter. Bring a new pair of infant/toddler/youth size socks to donate beginning on Nov. 9th through Nov. 19th to keep Mesa County's children feet warm. A box will be placed in front of the office doors to drop your socks as you enter the building. For those who would prefer to donate to a more local cause a separate box will be labeled for children in our own Career Center Preschool room. Let's keep each other warm!

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December 2020 ECP Events and News.

Early Childcare Program

We encourage parental involvement in the Early Childcare classroom. Parents can help in the following ways:

  • Read emails/visit Parent Vue

  • Encourage your student to tell you about weekly and daily assignments

  • Online daily check-in and attendance are an important work skill. Please encourage your child to virtually attend every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and to check-in with staff on Tuesday and Thursday staff office hours. This is a time when your child can get their questions answered one on one. If your child must miss please be sure to call our attendance office at 970-254-6000 Ext 21500.


ECP students have been actively participating in “baby simulation” workshops, along with thinking about what it means to be a parent.


Many students have received participant certifications from the PDIS early childhood system. These certificates will help “land a job” in the field of Early Childcare. Ask your child to show you their certificate. They are very proud of them!


Thank you this month to Nevaeh Davis who designed our “cozy socks” box for our fund drive. The ECP CTSO collected over 50 pairs of socks for “Homeward Bound” and 30 pairs of socks for our preschool children who will be recipients of them prior to the holiday break. Way to go!!
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January Newsletter 2021

Early Childcare Program students are busy!

New students and Beginning Pathway students are working on basic child development concepts. Intermediate Pathway students are doing advanced presentations on social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-agers.

Students are working on goals set forth by the CDA(Child Development Associate) certification. (Advanced Pathway).

Our simulation baby program is a big success with the students. They are enjoying and yet are frustrated by the baby as they care for it in class and still maintain their grades.

Students who are interns will soon be going back out into their early childcare sites (as allowed with COVID licensing rules and regulations). This term they will be required to do some in depth evaluations and planning in addition to observations daily.

As always, thank you for sharing your child with me as we move them into the future.

February Newsletter 2021

Students are working feverishly on completion of the CPR/1st Aid class as their certification in this class is essential according to Colorado Rules and Regulations for Early Childcare Providers.

Early Childcare Program students are completing their own handmade books to give to the preschool children who attend Career Center on Valentine's Day. What a surprise it will be when the preschool children get to meet the author of their own book! High School students are earning Language Art credit while working on this embedded project.

Baby simulators are still running in our classroom. Students are taking care of their "babies" and also learning math skills as they attempt to find the "Grand Total Cost" of raising a child their first year of life without any assistance from parents or government. "Hands on" embedded math makes it an interesting subject as they also receive math credit in the Early Childhood Program at the Career Center.

Please stop an Early Childhood Program student and ask them what they think of the class. It might be a place you want to be next school year!

What's Up In ECP in March 2021?

This past month, students have been busy playing and learning what play is all about. The highlight of the month was "Shaving Cream" painting in which students experienced what a preschool child would experience at an educator level. They began to understand the necessity of having a detailed lesson plan in order to teach cognitive, social/emotional and physical skills through this media.

Fun with Google Slide

Students are also learning about "developmental theory" as they process their own research about the "Ages and Stages" of "growth and development". A final project to this learning was their "Google Slide" presentation to their peers.

Career Fair excitement

Preparation for the "SWAP Career Fair" is high on student's minds as they write their own resume' and pick up professional tips in interviewing skills and what makes a good cover letter.


Congratulations to Bianca Gifford and Gigli Holmes who applied for and received scholarships worth over $1900.00! The scholarships will be used for them to complete an 8 week course in which they will complete 120 clock hours of professional development toward their CDA certificate. Way to go, we couldn't be prouder of you two!!!

Early Childcare Program "Student of the Month" for February.

The Early Childcare Program "Student of the Month" is Veronica Barnett. Veronica's attendance and attention to detail is notable. She comes to class prepared and ready to work daily. Her classwork is done to perfection and she is very proud of the work she does. Veronica is a quiet person, yet has a lot to give our preschool children. She is compassionate and wants what is best for them. We are proud to have her as one of our own. Keep up the good work and you will go far! Congratulations Veronica!

BIG Celebrations for ECP in March 2021!

Bianca Gifford and Gigli Holmes both independently completed grant applications which they learned about through the Early Childcare Program at the Career Center. A part of the Career Center's program goal is to open up possibilities and career opportunities for students who may not take a traditional pathway. Through collaboration with the Mesa County Early Childhood Partnership this opportunity was opened up to them. Each girl will receive a crash course leading them through the Child Development Associate certificate in early childhood. This is a nationally recognized credential for childcare workers. They will, upon completion of this certificate, be qualified to work as an assistant teacher in the early childhood field. In addition, this certificate and class is the "stepping stone" to further traditional coursework on the pathway to becoming a lead teacher in a preschool program or further.

Each student is entitled to $600 for course work ,books, and mentoring in the field. As a piece of the experience, they will have the opportunity to explore developmentally appropriate equipment and purchase that equipment with $375 each for the Career Center's Colorado Preschool Program where they will be doing an internship. "Hands on" learning at its best with two talented students who are on a pathway to teach some of Mesa County's youngest! Career Center is so proud of these two students and what they have accomplished in such a short period of time.

Bianca Gifford has been in the Early Childcare Program for the past two years. Bianca is currently a Junior with a full schedule of classes. Initially, ECP wasn't her first choice for a career but after spending time in preschool she has discovered that she "loves it"! She is interested in pursuing her education at WCCC in Early Childhood Education. She sees the opportunity that this grant has given her and is willing to rearrange her current class schedule so that she can fully participate in this learning venture. Always cheerful and optimistic she has shown that she has great potential and will be an asset to any early childhood program.

Gigli Holmes has been in the Early Childcare Program for the past two years. She is currently a Junior. While in the preschool classroom she has shown that she can command the classroom environment and assist young children in many areas of their growth and development. Gigli works well with students who have different abilities with her intuitive style. She is all about adapting to the environment and helping wherever is needed. This grant opportunity she sees as a challenge to her own abilities, but one that she is facing with determination and perseverance.


ECP March "Student of the Month"

ECP "Student of the Month" for March is Angelique Wiggins. This past month we have noticed how mature and polite she is when working with other students. She always has her work turned in ahead of its due date and you can tell that she has taken care to ensure its correctness. Her professionalism shows in her dress and her pride as she walks into the classroom. Angelique's questions in class show her reflective thinking and ability to move a subject matter forward in her mind. She is prepared for almost any task set forth in front of her. Congratulations Angelique, we are proud of your accomplishments in our class!

ECP March Newsletter 2021

The Early Childcare classroom is moving forward in their understanding of some of the theorists in our field of study. Several students have identified a new field of study they may want to go into as we explored these early childhood psychologists. Learning the "Why" behind why children behave the way they do has prompted these young students to look even deeper into the science of early childhood.

ECP and WorkKeys

We continue our work in "WorkKeys" and many students are excited about taking their last test and achieving their certificate goals. Congratulations for a job well done.

In addition to working in "WorkKeys" students have spent an additional five hours of study in "EVERFI" which is our "Financial Literacy" course that is offered through our program. Students spend an intense 10 hours of working and learning financial skill sets which will help them into adulthood. If a student completes this course and passes the written exam, they have shown proficiency for the Board of Education in "Financial Literacy" and do not have to take the semester long course that is offered to all high school students.

Parent/Teacher Conference Success!

Ms. Deb would like to thank all parents who attended our past "Parent/Teacher" conferences. Thank you for working with me and your child via "Google Meet" for a better understanding of setting "Career Goals" and how important it is to begin to think about them early on in your Career Pathway. Congratulations to Amelia Ungaro and her mom Mrs. Barnes who won our $10 Walmart drawing for their participation on March 18, 2021.

Looking forward to April.

Students have returned from Spring Break and have headed right into our curriculum on "How to get the job you want." The first week back we spent time improving our job seeking skill sets in preparation for the SWAP Job Fair on April 8th. We are ready to get to work as our resume is already written and our "10 second interviews" are fast approaching. We've learned how to "Dress for Success" and have filled out mock "Job Applications". We are confident and feel we can find the job we want!

We look forward to a smooth month of April and will continue to challenge and motivate our early childcare students. We are hoping to offer some outdoor science and math experiences with actual preschool children in the next month. The students already are thinking about a science or outdoor activity they could do to inspire their outdoor world.

Parachute Playtime for ECP Students!

ECP May Newsletter 2021

As always, the Early Childcare Program has been a movin' and a shaking! This month we visited with Vail McCole from WCCC who introduced us to the value of outdoor play in the early childhood preschool setting. She helped us understand that we can bring equipment outdoors and educate young children in the process.

We have worked very closely with SWAP this past month so we were ready to present our resumes at their recent Career Center Job Fair. Students came to school "Dressed to Impress" and several of the vendors commented on how good the Early Childcare Program looked.

The students are continuing to enhance their skill sets as later this month they will participate in a "Mock Interview" with one of our community partners, "We Care A Lot" preschool. Their director will assist students in learning how to interview for that childcare position and land that job.

Our two CDA students are working hard to complete their fast paced class in order to be ready for their CDA test in May 2021. Good Luck, Gigli Holmes and Bianca Gifford! We know you will do well!

Congratulations to Amethyst Correa who was awarded an apprenticeship through the district’s Career Wise program to “Grow our own Professionals”.

Amethyst will begin a two-year paid apprenticeship, balancing employment as a paraprofessional with high school coursework along with concurrent enrollment options. This is a collaboration with the CMU Education Department for guidance and possible credit options. By design, students will continue to work as a paraprofessional throughout college, transitioning to the role of classroom teacher within the district upon graduation.

Amethyst will spend a portion of the school day working as a paraprofessional at her assigned school, averaging 12 to 16 hours per week, getting paid through existing district budget dollars for unfilled para roles.

The Early Childcare Program is so proud of this young lady who is always prepared, polite, productive and professional. Amethyst Correa is the embodiment of what the Career Center’s Early Childcare Program goals are all about.

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Wrapping things up with the KickStart Program.

The "Workforce Center" will be presenting to our students about the "KickStart" program which can assist graduating students who would prefer to enter the workforce right after graduation instead of moving on to college. Be sure to ask your child about the benefits of this program as they move forward on their career pathway.