It's summer time and our schedule is more relaxed as Summers tend to be. We are introducing a new theme each week and incorporating lots of themed activities and snacks. We began with a celebration of Welcome Summer and enjoyed sand castle making and water fun with ice cream treats to celebrate Summer Birthdays.
We have enjoyed playground visits and lots of "baseball" as well as bike riding, kickball and just "hanging out in the yard" with friends.
We then move on to Sand, Sun and Seashore when we will bring the ocean and beach to Little Sprouts and spend time with some sea creatures and shells.
We celebrated the "People in our Neighborhood" with thank yous and learning out the different people who help us such as our trash collectors, our compost collectors, policemen, firemen and our favorite mailman, Jaime.
The Sprouts planted a garden in the Spring and we have enjoyed some Summer Squash already, in spite of a very busy woodchuck who managed to get some of our flowers. We look forward to picking ripened tomatoes and peppers very soon as well as seeing how tall our Sun Flower gets.
A Happy Summer to All!
Fall/ Winter 2015/ 2016
We have had a busy Fall and start of Winter at Little Sprouts. Preschoolers are half way thru their school year and have accomplished much- some highlights have been , working on their writing skills, lots of hands on crafts and journal making, letter of the week- show and tells and book shares. Much time has been spent out in the fresh air with nature walks, bird house attending and helping with composting and "knowing our environment" activites.
Little Sprouts became a subscriber to Garbage to Garden composting and all the Sprouts have benefited from learning what, when and why we compost. We look forward to having the education coordinator from G2G come in the Spring and give us a full presentation.
Much excitement has been in the air with our new "roller coaster" addition to our play equipment. The Sprouts are also enjoying some soft, indoor "climbing" units we have added. It is fun to see what they come up with for imaginative play. We have seen- drive thru restaurants, hospitals, offices and lots more take shape in the play area.
We have celebrated lots of birthdays both at Sprouts and with our Sprouts attending one anothers at various locations in the community. We enjoy watching the bonds grow between them all as they develop friendships which go beyond our everyday care. Of note is that Miss Bree met her husband, Josh, in Preschool !!!!
We are happy to report we have had our routine Licensing Inspection and have had no findings of any "violations", etc. Because the Licensing Dept of DHHS has had some ongoing changes, there have been many cases of citations for violations among Providers. Having met with several other Providers and the Dept of Licensing Management as well as the Quality Control Dept. of Licensing, we are reassured that there will be more consistency in Licensors across the board when doing inspections. Many of the Licensors are new and most have never actually done child care so it is a bit of a "learning curve" for them. We thank our parent population for helping us to be in compliance by continuing to update immunization records and returning forms when needed.
For anyone who is interested in the "governmental" workings of the Maine Child Care industry: We encourage you to attend the Public Hearing on February 3rd in Augusta. This is the State of Maine Plan which is in response to the Child Care Development Federal Block Grant. The State Plan to address and meet the requirements of the grant is available for viewing or printing from the link below: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/ec/occhs/child-care.html
The public hearing will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at: The Maine State Library 230 State Street, Room # 307 Augusta, Maine 04333 Public and provider participation.
This grant enables Maine families to access resources to help inform them of, pay for and retain care.
The grant also enables resources for Child Care Providers and pays for the Licensing Department of our Dept of Health and Human Services.
There are several areas in the Plan which did not address some requirements of the Federal Grant. This is problematic for Maine families seeking assistance and problematic for Providers who must depend on Licensing to be accountable for such safety measures as back ground checks for employees, fair and reasonable inspections of Maine Child Cares and timely reporting, administering and disbursement of the Federal funds. In one case, involving background checks, the State of Maine will forfeit 800 thousand dollars by not implementing the recommendations of the Federal Block Grant. Several local Child Care Providers will be attending the Public Hearing however, due to the hour it is being held, many will not be able to unless they close early, thereby inconveniencing parents. We are fortunate to have enough staff to be able to send someone. For more details, feel free to speak with Miss Lori.
As we "weather" the Maine winter season- stay warm and enjoy the snow
Having toughed out the harsh Maine winter, we are happy to see warmer weather at Little Sprouts. Since the advent of the sun reappearing in April, we have spent much time outside soaking up the rays. The children especially enjoy the sandbox and we are amazed at their creativity with sand. Roads, castles, gates, mountains and a few volcanoes just to name a few.
We have welcomed into care, Donovan's little brother, Nolan, who is a very handsome little guy and always has a smile. He loves all the Sprouts to talk and play with him but is always happiest to see his "brudder". He will soon have a buddy with Kai's little brother, Owen, joining us. Owen is also a very handsome and happy little guy and we look forward to getting to know him and will surely enjoy watching all these brothers grow together with us.
With the graduation of the preschoolers going off to Kindergarten we have lost /will lose some of our Sprouts. We said good-bye a bit early to Rafan as he travels with his family. We will send Ronon off to enjoy the Summer with his big sisters before entering Kindergarten in the Fall. We will send Shealynn and Brylie off to Kindergarten, as well, but get to keep them on board.
We will welcome some new faces to fill the voids- Avery, toddler, will come to us as her parents move to Brunswick in late June and Charlie, toddler as well, will join us in July. We welcome our new Sprouts and wish all the best to our departing Sprouts. We also wish lots of fun, sun and excitement this Summer for our school aged children who will head off to Summer Camps, Playground, etc.
Have a very Sunny Summer!