June E-News from Connections For Children
June E-News from Connections For Children
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June 2018
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Dear  Friend,
 June News from Connections For Children

Gateways for Early Educators - Time for Celebration

Honoring 60 Champions of Early Care and Education

Celebrating the passion, vision and legacy of Karen Kaye

Connections For Children, together with Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA), a non-profit organization strengthening families and advocating to expand access to quality child care throughout Los Angeles County, hosts the 8th Annual Karen Kaye Achievement Award celebration. On Saturday, June 23rd, over 60 child care providers will be honored for their professional development accomplishments. The achievement award is named after Karen Kaye, the former executive director of Connections for Children. Karen is fondly remembered for passionately championing quality in early child care and education.

“We look forward to recognizing the hard work of Early Care & Education Professionals as they strive to improve the children’s early education experience,” said Cristina Alvarado, Executive Director of the Child Care Alliance.

The Gateways for Early Educators™ Passport program, funded in part by the California Department of Education (CDE) Early Education Support Division (EESD), provides the opportunity for early educators, family child care providers and teaching staff in child care centers to grow professionally and receive assistance as they navigate a path into the higher education system. Throughout the year, trainings are held at the ten (10) Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles member Resource and Referral and Alternative Payment agencies and made public on the California Early Care & Education Workforce Registry calendar available online at www.caregistry.org. Training topics include: nutrition and physical activity for young children, child development, early childhood literacy, learning environments and curriculum, First Aid and CPR, and business management. One-on-one assistance and coaching are also offered to Early Care and Education Professionals in the Gateways program.

“The Gateways program was able to provide me with the appropriate information to help sharpen me in my professional skills regarding early care for children,” said one of the participating educators. Many of those in attendance will be receiving their 1st , 2nd, and 3rd Achievement Award in recognition of obtaining 48, 96, or 144 hours of training. For program information or how to find a training in your area, contact Zenaida Meza, Professional Development & Coaching Manager, at (323) 274-1394 or visit www.ccala.net.

Congratulations for all of Connections For Childrens Karen Kaye recepients for 2018!

Shiomi Makita
Tamelah Morgan
Kathleen Woods
Rosa Maurtua 
Sandra De La Roca
Twylla Jackson
Oktovi Donovan
Hortensia Castaneda
Wanda Beasley
Asuncion Ramos
Guadalupe Garcia
Irma Rincon
Francisco Rincon

Ready for School 

Building Blocks for Kindergarten

Healthy Habits - Self Care, Physical Wellbeing, and Motor Skills

Summer is a great time to reinforce healthy eating habits. Children need to have energy to enjoy fun and play in the summers heat. Good Habits will prepare them to be alert for school this fall. Focus on healthy choices for breakfast, lunch, and snacks in child-size portions. Try keeping fruit readily available and making vegetables fun.
Good sleeping habits are important too. A five year old needs between ten and twelve hours of sleep every night, even when the daylight stretches late into in the evening.
Children are ready for the kindergarten classroom when they can take care of personal needs, such as  going to the bathroom, washing hands, and buttoning, zipping and tying clothes and shoes. These are great activities to practice all summer long. It builds a  child's confidence when he or she is independent with self-care. Kids like to know "I can do It!"  
Here are a few more tips:             
  • Exercise and outside play is an important part of kids development
  • A daily schedule helps with getting to bed on time
  • Provide healthy choices in meals and kid-sized snacks
  • Have regular dental and health check ups

You can find more great tips to support children's health and welling in the Santa Monica Cradle to Career Building Blocks for Kindergarten.

Safety tips to take for water precautions this summer

Summer marks the star of gatherings where families and friends try to cool off in the water. However, it is important to take safety precautions in order to prevent accididental drowning which take many young and innocent lives.
Here are Some Drowning Prevention Tips:
  • Never take your eyes off a child when he or she is in or near any body of water, even for a second.

  • Don’t rely solely on barriers, such as fences or walls near a pool or spa. There is no substitute for constant supervision.

  • Keep toys, tricycles, and other children’s play items out of the water and away from the pool or spa. Don’t consider your children to be “drown-proof” because you enrolled them in swimming or “water-proofing” classes.

  • Don’t rely on inflatable devices to keep your child afloat. These are not substitutes for adult supervision.

  • Make sure your pool or spa has a fence, wall or safety cover that guards against unsupervised access, particularly by young children.

  • Make sure doors leading to the pool or spa area are self-closing and self-latching, or are equipped with exit alarms and are never propped open.

  • Always drain standing (surface) water from the pool cover. Remember that even a few inches of water can be hazardous, especially to young children.

  • Install a phone, or keep a cordless phone, in the pool or spa area.

What Father's Day Means To Me

In June 2015, I helped Connections For Children run a social media campaign in honor of Father’s Day (#DaddyQuotes). We used serious, charming or even silly quotes (mostly famous or known) that spoke of dads and their significant influence in the lives of children.
At that time, I had been a dad of precocious twin boys for nearly three years and could understand the beautiful difficulty of such a role. But, that wasn’t why it was easy for me to relate to each and every quote. Every reference for a good father presented my appreciation for my own dad, a man who raised three children on his own, the youngest (me) from age 2 onward. He was there to cook every dinner, coach every baseball game, school drop-off and pick-up, and emergency—big or small.
It was also in 2015 that my dad passed away from cardiac arrest.
Born in Revere, Massachusetts, my dad moved to California with his parents and siblings in the early 60s. He got decent grades, avoided the draft, hung out with hippies (probably was one at some point too), traveled through every mainland state by car, managed a rock band, fished in Alaska, went hunting, avidly attended Tina Turner concerts, rocked a handlebar mustache, got married, worked hard, owned a business, purchased a home, and was a father to three children.
There’s more to his story, of course. But, if you were to ask him, he’d say the last one topped the list.
So, what does Father’s Day mean to me? It means it’s my privilege to show appreciation to my dad; it’s my duty to try to be as good a father as he was. That means I’m present for the things that matter, and even the things that don’t. He was always there until he physically couldn’t be any longer, and I will do the same thing for my kids. That’s really the best way for me to honor him and the sacrifices he made for me. He deserves that, and so do most father's.
This Father's Day, tell your dad just how important he is. Because like it or not, he won't be around one day to tell him. Trust me, it matters.
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