In-House Position Newsletter
The Learning Environment Standards; Arranging the Physical Environment
Step back and look at the arrangement of the classrooms in your center; do they meet the space-planning guidelines?
- Arrange the room so that all children can be seen at all times
- Identify space for each of the routines and experiences
- Organize the room efficiently
- Clearly define spaces that need protection
- Establish traffic patterns and define pathways with low classroom equipment
- Locate active, noisier play areas and materials away from relatively quiet areas
- Choose floor surface, such as carpeting or vinyl, according to the way the area will be utilized
- Provide light from a variety of sources
When thinking about a new floor plan there are many things to keep in mind such as; the areas for each learning center, selecting materials that are safe, appropriate and that show diversity, using natural materials from nature, and how to convey a positive messages based on the information from The Creative Curriculum Volume 1 pg. 67 (Preschool) and pg. 58 (Infants, Toddlers, & Two’s).
Although it is important for classrooms to be attractive to the eye, it is also important that they function effectively. The beliefs about relationships between individuals and early childhood environments are because of the work of Sybil Kritchevsky and Elizabeth Prescott (1969), whose classic analysis of child care settings in the 1960s led to important observations of the influence of classroom design on the behavior of both children and teachers. Based on these observations, Kritchevsky and Prescott show how teachers can change the environment to achieve new goals or solve existing problems. They also highlight the importance of tailoring the child care setting to fit the needs and experiences of the children who spend time there.
When space is well-organized, with open pathways that clearly lead to activities that offer enough to do, children manage on their own. They can move freely from one activity to another, giving the teacher an opportunity to attend to individual children according to their needs.
Space that is not well-organized creates problem areas. These include spaces that encourage negative behavior, and pathways that lead nowhere or interfere with play already in progress. When space is poorly organized, children depend on the teacher for guidance and the teacher's behavior becomes directive. When teachers spend a great deal of time directing group behavior, they have less time to assist individual children and children have fewer opportunities to participate in making their own choices.
If a classroom in your center needs to be revamped, see page 6 of the Learning Environment Standards for a checklist to consider while rearranging the classroom environment. Be sure to check with your Center Director for approval of the new arrangement of the classroom!
Please join us for our next Education Specialist Webinar on Wednesday, May 25th from 1-2pm we will be discussing Gallery Boards, Family Communication Boards, Love for Life Boards and Summer Camp!
We hope you kicked off May with some great Teacher Appreciation Activities! With the regular school year finishing up, we know that you are busy getting ready for Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences and preparing for summer camp! Remember our goal is to meet with 100% of families during conferences. Below we have provided you with a couple suggestions to foster great relationships with your staff and families.
Each month we will continue to provide ideas as well as general tips for connecting with staff and families. We would also love to hear your ideas and see your hard work! Please send ideas and pictures of completed activities to email@example.com.
Staff Connection Idea- As your staff prepares for Parent/Teacher Conferences be sure to spread send some encouragement. Let them know you see their hard work by sending an encouraging note! Create a commitment board in the break room. Use the quote “I am committed to learning, growing, and being the best that I can be!” and encourage your staff to sign their names as a reminder of their commitment to the center and to themselves!
Family Connection Idea- “Time spent playing with children is never wasted!” Dawn Iantero. May 20th is Ride Your Bike day. Plan a bike ride or bike safety event with families and staff. You can do this at the center or you can plan on meeting at a local park or trail. Have information available about bike safety to help families.
Health and Safety Coordinator
Spring is here and with it comes the tail end of colds and the beginning of allergy season. It is important that any medication brought into our centers is taken care of the correct way. Licensing consultants have cited our centers for not having the medications properly stored, as well as the medication forms not being filled out completely by parents. The Health, Safety, and Licensing Coordinator should be comfortable training coworkers on how the forms should be filled out by the parent, how to administer medication, and should understand all the steps before, during, and after medication administration.
Procedures to follow before administering medication to a child:
*Parents must fill out the Medication Form completely
- Medication must be in its original packaging with manufacturer’s instructions or prescription label with specific, legible instructions for administration, storage, and disposal
- A list of possible side effects must also be provided with the medication, if it is not included on the packaging.
*Parents must take medication home nightly and return it daily when needed to be administered, with the exception of preventative and emergency medications (i.e. epi-pens, Benadryl, inhalers, breathing treatments etc.)
*Staff members must complete the Medication Administration training before they are authorized to dispense any medication to children.
- Center management, Health and Safety Coordinators, other appointed individuals
- Individuals who are trained must sign a verification acknowledgement on their training.This also includes diaper creams, making sure each employee understands the procedure for applying ointment onto a child.
- The classroom teacher is responsible for initialing the request for medication on the child’s Daily Communication Sheet as well as when the medication was given and to communicate the request with the Program Director daily.
For more information on our Medication Policies and Procedures:
SharePoint>Operations>Policies and Procedures> General Health and Medication>Medication Policy
All of our Health, Safety, and Licensing Coordinators need to have completed the training required for this position.
- SharePoint>Education>In-House Positions>Health, Safety and licensing Coordinator>Health, Safety and Licensing Coordinator Training
- Complete the Health, Safety and Licensing Scavenger Hunt
- Print out and sign the verification form and keep in employees file