Tag Archives: child care solutions

A Day For Child Care Providers, Because We Can’t Afford A Day Without Them

29 Apr

provider & toddler on playground

The second Sunday in May and the third Sunday in June have long been recognized as the days to honor mothers and fathers, respectively, for their commitment to parenting and children. We honor their dedication, selflessness and love with cards, flowers, brunch, barbeques and thanks. A lesser known but equally important day celebrates the other caregivers in children’s lives. Friday, May 8, 2015, Provider Appreciation Day, recognizes child care providers who care for our community’s children when mothers and fathers are working or attending school. Child Care Solutions encourages you to take a moment and reflect on why these caregivers deserve our admiration, thanks and support not only on May 8th but every day of the year.

Imagine if you will that there was no child care available to any working parent in Central New York. What would that look like for them and you? The Humboldt County California Office of Education produced a video titled “A Day without Child Care” that satirically demonstrates such a day. Parents are depicted dropping their children off at child care centers only to find them closed or with no staff. They panic and can’t go to work. An injured man in the emergency room awaits assistance to no avail because the doctors and nurses are absent due to lack of child care. Grocery store lines are long and slow because employees didn’t show up for their shifts. The satire is funny but not really ridiculous. Every day Central NY nurses, doctors, teachers, construction workers, police officers etc. rely on high quality child care in order to work and provide vital services to our community. If it weren’t available what would they do? What would their employers do? What impact might that have on our community?

While parents are working, child care providers step in and provide the love, nurturing, education, and fun that are necessary for the healthy development of children. It is a critical, difficult and often times undervalued role. Providing high quality child care requires business acumen, knowledge of childhood development principles, compliance with health & safety regulations, unlimited patience, creative thinking, and untiring physicality. Providers do this every day with little fanfare and often times low wages. By recognizing their dedication on May 8th, we remind the Central NY parents, employers, legislators & community members of the importance of high quality child care and let providers everywhere know that we honor and value their important work.

If you are a parent who relies on child care please take a moment to offer special thanks to your provider on this day. If you are a business leader, Child Care Solutions encourages you to learn more about the benefits of high quality child care for your business and the Central NY economy at http://www.childcaresolutionscny.org. If you are a child care provider, we say thank you for your commitment to this invaluable profession.

Patrice Robinson
Marketing & Development Director

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Quality For Kids

7 Aug

Child Care Solutions congratulates the 46 local early childhood programs that were just accepted to participate in Quality Stars NY, the State’s new early childhood quality rating and improvement system. The 28 child care centers and 18 family child care homes will join with over 400 other programs from around the State to initiate the first wave of Quality Stars implementation.

Like restaurant and hotel rating systems, when fully implemented, Quality Stars will assign a star-rating to describe the quality of each participating program. What’s different about Quality Stars, however, is that it will make resources, training and support available to help participating programs make strategic quality improvements.

The end result for our community will be higher-quality early care and education programs and better outcomes for children, now and in the future. There is a whole body of research that shows that high- quality early learning programs provide children with the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life. We agree, and we believe that the time has come to put research into practice by making high-quality programs available here and in every part of the State.

If, as you read this, you’re thinking of a child, grandchild, niece or nephew who needs and deserves high-quality early care and education, please shares this blog and take action. It’s time to start a movement with them in mind.

For me, it’s my 2-year-old granddaughter Sabine. Who motivates you?
Peggy Liuzzi, Executive Director

The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For Is Here…QualitystarsNY is STARting.

16 May

Child Care Solutions is excited to announce that Syracuse is one of seven (7) communities in New York State chosen to participate in the implementation of QualitystarsNY. This program establishes a five (5) star rating system for child care programs in New York State. Once fully operational, this rating scale will make the process of finding high quality child care easier for the parents of our community. It will also create a quality improvement process for child care programs in Central NY so they can elevate the care they provide to our children. For years we have been advocating for a quality improvement and rating system (QRIS) for our community and state. We have worked tirelessly on this cause because we know that high quality child care & learning experiences are critical to the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of our children.

The importance of a program like QualitystarsNY cannot be underestimated. The parents of our state deserve a reliable rating system to lessen the very burdensome process of finding high quality child care. How many of us choose restaurants or hotels based on a rating system? Do you read Consumer Reports when you purchase a car, refrigerator or TV? These rating system certainly help us as consumers make wise decisions about our spending. Currently parents have to perform tedious, time consuming, often ill-informed research about child care. Sometimes it is chosen on a “wing and a prayer.” How much easier will it be for parents when they can call Child Care Solutions and ask what is the program’s QualitystarsNY rating?

For the child care providers in our community, isn’t it time your profession receives the recognition & support deserved for the very hard, very IMPORTANT work you perform every day for the children of CNY? QUALITYstarsNY is your opportunity to participate in a quality improvement process that will set standards, offer guidance, support and training so you can develop a well-respected, professional child care program that meets the needs of today’s parents & children. It is time to elevate the child care profession so it is recognized for the critical role it plays not only in the lives of children, but also as an economic necessity for Central New York.

Most importantly, every child needs & deserves a program like QualitystarsNY. Research shows that the majority of brain growth and social & intellectual development occur before the age of five. It stands to reason that if we can offer high quality early care & learning experiences for our community’s children they will be better prepared for school and life-long success. Doesn’t every child deserve that?

Child Care Solutions holds the following core beliefs:

All children deserve high quality early learning & care experiences.
All children have the right to secure, trusting, nurturing relationships with adults.
All children must have their physical, emotional and social needs met to develop to their fullest potential.
All children deserve the same respect as adults.
As adults we have to advocate for & protect all children.
Children are born ready to learn.

We feel QualitystarsNY will help fulfill these beliefs. We hope that all child care programs and parents in our area feel the same.

To learn more about QualitystarsNY please call Peggy Liuzzi or Patrice Robinson at Child Care Solutions @ 446-1220.

Race to the Top: Can New York State Afford to Quit Now?

19 Dec

On Friday, December 16th NY State was notified that it was not a recipient of $100 million of federal Race To The Top Early Learning Challenge Grant money. NY’s application for the grant focused on establishing a statewide 5 star rating & improvement systems for all early education programs called QUALITYstarsNY, standardizing Kindergarten assessment and creating a data tracking system to better coordinate children’s services. This setback, although very disappointing, has to serve as a wake-up call to our leaders in Albany that we cannot be caught sleeping in the Race To The Top.

Child Care Solutions, the child care resource & referral agency for Onondaga & Cayuga counties, believes we cannot abandon the initiatives set forth in the Race To The Top grant application. Although the money would have obviously eased the financial burden of implementing these programs we must keep our eyes on the finish line and continue to move forward. The parents and employers of our state need QUALITYstarsNY to establish a standardized rating system for early education and child care programs. Child care providers and educators also require training & support that will improve the quality of care & learning for the children of New York. QUALITYstarsNY will provide for this. Most importantly, children need high quality early learning experiences so that they will have the tools they need to be prepared for school and life-long success.

Finding and choosing child care should not be an obstacle course or a guessing game. NY needs to raise the bar and set standards so that parents know what kind of early care their children are receiving. Child care teachers and providers need to elevate their profession to meet higher standards so that all of the children of our state are afforded equal educational opportunities.

“We now know that 75% of brain growth and 85% of intellect, personality and social skills develop before age five,” said Marsha Basloe, Executive Director of the Early Care and Learning Council in Albany. “Early learning is key. And while we did not win this grant, our proposal can still serve as the blueprint to ensure our youngest children are getting the quality early learning they need to compete in a 21st century workforce.

Please let your voice be heard in Albany and urge our leaders to continue with the initiatives set forth in the Race To The Top. For the sake of our children and our states economic future let’s continue towards the finish line.

To learn more about the importance of high quality early learning, go to:

www.winningbeginningny.org

Patrice Robinson

Marketing & Development Director

Child Care Solutions

Black Friday, Cyber Monday…The Best Holiday Gifts Without The Stampedes

28 Nov

Best Holiday Toys Ever

If you go on-line or check the big box store catalogs to see this year’s “hottest” toys for the holidays, you’ll see lots of toys that run on battery power. There are “interactive” toys that light up, talk, wiggle, squeak and play music. There are hand-held mini-computer games for pre-schoolers. In response, we thought it would be good to do our own list of just a few old-fashioned toys that run on kid power.

These are toys and materials that can be used in multiple ways to encourage open-ended play, creativity, imagination and language. You’ll see these playthings in high quality early childhood classrooms, and they make wonderful gifts to inspire children’s play at home. We hope you’ll add some of these gifts to your shopping list.

Wooden unit blocks: Children love to build with heavy duty wooden blocks. Watch them make houses, farms, roads, zoos, towers and mountains. Add a few toy cars, people, animals or dinosaurs, and you’ll see even more imagination at work. How can something so simple be this much fun and still teach children about shapes, sizes and the art of balancing.

Manipulatives: Legos, bristle blocks, tinker-toys and other small blocks and wooden and crepe puzzles help children build their small motor skills and practice problem-solving and sorting while they’re having fun. There are bigger versions of blocks and 2 and 3-piece puzzles for toddlers as well as smaller blocks and more challenging multi-piece puzzles for older children.

Art supplies: Crayons, markers, paint, children’s scissors and glue make wonderful gifts with different kinds of paper and bits of yarn, ribbon, cotton, even magazines to cut up to make collages. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a child’s creative juices flowing. Children respond with intense concentration and lots of language when they experiment with colors and shapes and perfect their small motor skills when cutting and gluing. You might want to add a smock for the perfect young artist’s package.

Cooking Tools for Kids: Start with an age-appropriate cookbook (or make your own laminated recipe cards with pictures). Add an apron, a wooden spoon and spatula, some measuring spoons, a plastic measuring cup, cookie cutters and a willing adult chef to make sure everything proceeds safely. Whether they’re making instant pudding, applesauce or cut-out cookies, children will learn about following directions, counting and measuring while making something special to share with the family. The tools can be used for “pretend” cooking too. Who can resist a delicious cup of make-believe soup?

Books, books, books: There are so many choices… cloth and board books for babies and toddlers, story books for pre-schoolers and chapter books for young readers. Well-chosen books that are age-appropriate and colorfully illustrated open up a world of language and imagination for children. The best present of all?… when a child sits in a favorite adult’s lap to read books out-loud. Oh, wait… that’s one of the best presents any adult could have too.

A big, cardboard box: Cut out windows and a door and color the cardboard with paint or crayons. It could be a house, a cave, a fort, a cozy place to read or a pirate ship. Get a few props and let children take the lead for hours of imaginative fun. Sometimes the best things in life (and play) are free!

Governor Cuomo, The Children of NY Need Your Support!

21 Nov

Child Care Solutions is a member of Winning Beginning NY, a coalition of early childhood advocacy organizations from around the state. Last week Winning Beginning NY released its recommendations for 2012 to Governor Cuomo. They asked the Governor to:
• Invest $20 million to begin implementation of QUALITYstarsNY (QSNY), New York’s new quality rating & improvement system.

What is QualityStarsNY? from Walking Whale on Vimeo.

• Restore $37 million in funding for child care subsidies and explore setting consistent statewide standards for parent eligibility and co-pays and provider reimbursement rates.
• Maintain the current commitment of $384.3 million to support Pre-K services for nearly 99,000 four-year-olds across the state.
• Adequately and equitably fund K-12 education aid to prevent school districts from reducing access to Kindergarten for five-year-olds.
• Invest $30.3 million to sustain evidence-based home visiting programs for vulnerable children and families.
• Restore the Early Intervention (EI) Program to last year’s funding level of $230 million.
• Restore the Advantage After-School Program to last year’s funding level of $22.5 million.
Child Care Solutions supports the Winning Beginning NY agenda because we believe that investments in young children help families and children thrive today and give children a foundation for life-long success. Even in bad economic times, no, especially in bad economic times, when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, we can’t afford to do less. We hope you agree.

Peggy Liuzzi, Executive Director, Child Care Solutions

To learn more about Winning Beginnings click on this link. http://www.winningbeginningny.org/

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