The Ounce State of Illinois Budget Update

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We continue to be concerned about the lack of a State of Illinois Budget, which impacts early childhood education and families of these children. We are still working with less money due to this impasse.  The following is re-printed in part from The Ounce Early Edition Winter 2017.

State Update

Illinois has gone 19 months without a state budget, as efforts stalled in the state senate on a bipartisan proposal to end the stalemate.
In the midst of this ongoing uncertainty, on February 15, Governor Rauner outlined his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.

His FY2018 budget proposal included:
·         $50 million increase to the Early Childhood Block Grant
·         $151.3 million increase to the Child Care Assistance Program to restore eligibility to families earning up to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level and to families participating in non-TANF education and training activities
·         Maintain home visiting services at $16.9 million
·         $4 million increase to funding for Early Intervention
·         $38 million increase to funding for educational supports for English learners to fully fund those payments to school districts
Despite these proposed increases, we know that for Illinois to truly support its most vulnerable children and families, the state must commit to a path toward sustaining its investments. That path includes raising enough revenue for the state to pay its bills and meaningfully make these investments.

Every day that passes costs Illinois money, makes the problem more difficult to solve and further harms programs that help young children and their families thrive. Home visiting programs continue to scale back and close down. Child care providers still cannot enroll many families left out because of the restricted eligibility, and Early Intervention providers wait months to receive payment for the services they’ve provided to babies and toddlers. Governor Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly must work together to put forth a budget that supports revenue to adequately fund critically important early childhood investments.

In the coming weeks, legislative committees will meet to review the governor’s proposal and hear from advocates. The Ounce of Prevention Fund and our partners will continue to advocate for a full-year, fully-funded budget and remind lawmakers of the mounting cost of inaction.

It is up to all of us to be advocates for our children.

 

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There is no Fadeout

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The belief in “fadeout” (i.e., that benefits of early childhood education fade out as a child progresses through school), is a factor that can make obtaining financial support for early childhood education a challenge. Recently released research from Nobel Laureate James Heckman proves that “fadeout” does not occur. In fact, quality early childhood education – like that available at The Day Nursery – improves IQ and socio-emotional skills that provide profound benefits through adulthood. Read James Heckman’s rebuttal to claims of “fadeout” in the Washington Post.

Part of the article states: “In our recent work, we carefully study the effectiveness of a wide range of early childhood programs that received government funding, including Head Start. We find that all provide benefits and lasting effects to children who would have experienced lower quality care or have otherwise not received quality early childhood education.”

We continue to provide a curriculum in early childhood education that prepares each child for their future in learning.

Thank you for your continued support of The Day Nursery.

 

 

Top 10 Reasons for Quality Early Childhood Education at The Day Nursery

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Early childhood is an amazing, fascinating, almost magical time. Every new experience, every new word, every new observance is soaked up like a sponge.

Which is why quality early childhood programs, exactly like those found at The Day Nursery, are so essential for the good of the child, the family, the community, and the greater society.

In this blog I’m going to list what I see as the top ten reasons for early childhood education. They are not listed in order of importance as they all contribute to a well-rounded child – and eventually adult. In blogs over the next few months, I will address each of these reasons and why they are so important and how The Day Nursery works to excel in each.

So, here we go! Top 10 reasons for early childhood education at The Day Nursery.

10. Diversity

9. Parental Support/Community

8. Socialization

7. Assessment and early intervention

6. Confidence and self-esteem

5. Teamwork and cooperation

4. Verbal Literacy

3. Number Literacy

2. Understanding the value of education through experience

1. Gaining a life-long enthusiasm and joy for learning and discovery

The High Scope Perry Preschool Study was a long-range (40 year) study of the effects of preschool on children. There are many statistics touting the benefits as a result of this study, but one that many people have not heard is the effect on IQ. This study indicated 67% of the children who participated in the study’s preschool program had attained an IQ of 99 or better by age 5. In contrast, only 28% of those children in the study who did not participate in the study’s preschool program tested with an IQ of 99 or above.

Just think about the lifelong implications in that! – and the impact on society.

Study after study indicates the value of quality early childhood education for all children but especially for those who come from low-income families whose limited resources do not allow them to expose their children to the same experiences as those from more affluent families.

The Day Nursery has always welcomed families from all socio-economic backgrounds. Government funding has declined significantly despite the overwhelming evidence of the value of quality early childhood education.

Please consider making a gift today so that The Day Nursery can continue to unlock the potential for every child who comes through our doors. A gift of any size will have an impact! Just go to our website and click on donation.

Thank you,

Cari Christoff, Executive Director

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Early Childhood Programming – Why It Matters

We recently spoke about the importance in Early Childhood Development. This is why at this time of year we ask you to donate to The Day Nursery on #GivingTuesday with a donation at #ILGive November 29, 2016.  Please consider supporting our mission to Unlock The Potential.

Other facts proving the value of quality early childhood programs:

  • When a child enters kindergarten ready for school, there is an 82% chance the child will master basic skills by age 11; that chance decreases to 45% if the child is not school ready. Research shows the child’s chances of making up that deficit are slim.
  • Superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are relevant to students’ lives, interests, and experiences.
  • High-quality early education is essential to narrow the achievement gap. Across multiple studies over multiple years, early childhood education has been shown to nearly half the black-white difference in the kindergarten achievement gap.
  • Children who enter kindergarten with strong social-emotional skills experience significantly improved outcomes in education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health.
  • The ability to self-regulate thoughts, emotions and behavior increases success in school, work, and life.
  • Children who enter school with basic knowledge of math and reading are more likely than their peers to experience later academic success.
  • Early access to STEM competencies (collaboration, cause and effect, exploration and discovery) has been proven to lead to a greater comfort with STEM in grade school.

Thank you for your support to #GivingTuesday and #ILGive

It Takes a Village

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Despite the recognition of the benefits of early childhood education, government funding has decreased, yet the need of low and moderate income families increases. Over 40% of our families receive financial assistance. You can impact the life of a child through your support!

As we congregate as families this Thanksgiving Day we celebrate our family mission of bonding, caring and loving of one another. We hope that when you plan your holiday giving that you include The Day Nursery in this plan and especially on the nationwide day of giving, #GivingTuesday, Tuesday, November 29, 2016.  We have partnered with #ILGive on this day and when you give specifically on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 we get to keep all of the donations made through them on that day.

Please save that day for us and give on this link on Tuesday, November 29, 29106 The Day Nursery #ILGive to help us continue to give to our children the education and inspiration for learning.

The Day Nursery’s mission is to provide quality, nurturing early child care and preschool provided by a professional and caring staff in a safe environment for families in the community.

The Day Nursery was founded in 1912 due to the need observed to have quality early childhood programs for families of working parents. The Day Nursery founders were far ahead of their time in their perception of the value such a program brings to the children, the families, and the community at large.

That need has not gone away. Nationwide more and more families – of all economic backgrounds – are two-income families and need to rely on quality, reliable early childhood care. Over the last forty years, the research has been done and the science developed that indicate that every dollar invested in high quality early childhood programs yields at least $8.60 in value over time. The return increases to as much as $10 for low-income children.

To see more about The Day Nursery and the work we do, see us on Facebook Like Us and share with your friends and follow us on Twitter.

Thank you and have a joyous, wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

 

It’s Almost Time to Vote

 

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At The Day Nursery we excite the imagination of children on a day to day basis.  Our dedicated staff works to that end each day. Our democracy is exciting too. Tomorrow we get to exercise our citizen participation by voting; while so many people in so many countries are deprived of that opportunity.

Taking your child with you is a teaching moment too.  See this article about why parents are taking their children when they vote. Make sure your friends and family vote too. Make sure all the parents who drop off their kids vote. We are all in this together.

Our friends at NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. They advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

Nearly ten months ago, NAEYC announced its own first-time electoral advocacy effort – the Early Ed for President campaign, designed to elevate the conversation around early childhood education and educators in the 2016 election cycle.

Since then, NAEYC members and friends, affiliates and partners all around the country have carried the Early Ed for President messages to candidates far and wide, making sure they know about the importance of early childhood education! And every one of the 105,320 (and counting!) likes and follows on social media mean our voices are growing.

We’ve heard both Presidential candidates talk about child care and early learning – and we want to see more when they, whoever is elected, takes office.

As you vote tomorrow, keep in mind you are voting for your children as well.

#earlyedin16!

Writing Activities for Preschoolers

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Getting a preschooler to write can be difficult due to several factors. An important one is, Is your child interested in writing? In the Rainbow Room, the children have been interested in gardening and insects so I took those interests and produced writing ‘games’ for the children to do based on those interests.

 

The children are playing Roll-A-Letter. The child rolls a die and must write the letter that the die lands on. This is a great way for the child to work on letters that they already know and work on letters that they are having some difficulty to write.

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Is your child interested in cars?  You can have your child painting with cars on paper (in the picture we practiced on the slide first) or have your child drive their car on a letter road.

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Before your child can write well they need to have developed the muscles in their hands that will enable them to have the necessary skills to hold and maneuver a pencil. By learning and practicing these skills it will help your child be confident about becoming a writer.

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Some examples of writing readiness skills or fine motor activities that will help your child in developing the muscles in their hands are:

Cutting with scissors
Brushing their teeth
Eating with a fork or spoon
Using tweezers
Manipulating small objects (putting a puzzle together, stringing beads or moving a game piece on a board)

Putting a puzzle together with a friend. The children worked together in trying to figuring out and manipulating each piece until they finished the puzzle together.

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Working with play dough. This child separated the play dough into small pieces to give the ladybug 8 spots and a face.

Moving a game piece on a board. The child makes sure his spider lands on each rectangle on its way to the water spout.

Using Tweezers. The children are counting out frogs and are using the tweezers to place each individual frog onto the pond mat.

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Cutting with scissors. Cutting paper is a desired skill but you can make cutting interesting by having your child cut a variety of things that you approve of. In this picture the children were really excited to help trim the grass with scissors.

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Working with small objects. In this project the children made caterpillars with pom poms. The children then asked for other materials to add to their caterpillars such as leaves and eyes.

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It is important to set up children for success. They will gain a level of confidence that will help carry over in later grades and do well. That is why it is so important to help children develop skills that will help them to become great writers. Why not help your child to develop the skills they need while having fun as well? Having your child do school work while having fun will continue their excitement about learning throughout their school career.  

For more information and activities on writing readiness you can visit:

http://www.lizs-early-learning-spot.com/pre-writing-skills-essential-for-early-learners/

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/developing-writing-and-spelling-home-pre-k