Child Care Now- September 2015

child care banner

September 2015

In the news:


Emergency Preparedness in your Community

Meeting Space

Meet your neighbors!  In an emergency, neighbors are usually the first on the scene, providing critical help until first responders can arrive. So meet your neighbors and start building connections. You never know when you might need a helping hand or when you may find yourself in the role of a first responder.  

Emergency Preparedness Resources:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

American Red Cross

Purchase a kit today


NAEYC: Celebrating 30 Years

This year, NAEYC is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its accreditation program.

Benefits of NAEYC Accreditation: 

  • From playground environments to the emotional environment in classrooms, from administrative policies to teaching practices, NAEYC standards and criteria are comprehensive and capture the full range of what a program should do to deliver high-quality education. 
  •  NAEYC-accredited programs establish and maintain a collaborative, responsive relationship with each child’s family to foster children’s development.

95% of GSA centers are NAEYC Accredited.


Quote of the Month: 

You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can. 

-Jimmy Carter


Find out more about GSA Child Care:

website iconblog iconTwitter Icon Medium

Tell us what you think?

Contributions and comments on Child Care Now are welcome and encouraged.

Email logo

Consumer Products Information

Would you like to learn more about consumer product recalls? Sign up for alerts by clicking the Consumer Product Safety Commission logo.


Emergency Planning

Emergency Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. This year's theme is: "Don't Wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today." Safety of children and staff is always the highest priority for GSA Child Care Centers. It is critical that your child care center has procedures for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from emergencies. Please take time today to talk to staff, co-workers, and family to review and communicate your plan. Here are some emergency preparedness tips and best practices from the GSA Child Care community...

Cell Phone

How will you communicate with families during a crisis?

Little Eagles in Kearneysville, WV has improved their communication with families with a new texting system which sends mass messages. Enrolled families now receive information in real-time right at their fingertips.

Emergency Kit

Have you checked your supplies lately?

Please check your center’s emergency supply inventory. Verify your stock and replenish perishable items as needed.  For a checklist of recommended supplies and a Provider Emergency Preparedness Toolbox,  please visit the “Emergency Management” section of our website at


Who are you going to call?

 Do you know who to contact in an emergency? Do your local procedures have you call 911 for medical emergencies and a security desk for others?  Make sure your staff knows who to call in different scenarios.  Update your contact list today.

Meeting Spot

Where will you go?

 Every center should have three evacuation sites.  Know your safe areas and practice with the children.  Make sure families and emergency personnel know where your safe areas are located. 


Center Spotlight: Region 9 Calm Drills

At the Harry Pregerson Child Care Center in Los Angeles, CA, Center Director Leslie Castenda implemented “calm drills” to create a real time evaluation of emergency preparedness.   Calm drills are randomly conducted at least once a month with individual staff members. These drills involve the Center Director entering each classroom, taking the teacher aside and presenting a hypothetical emergency scenario. The teacher then assesses the situation and formulates the most appropriate emergency response.  Through this one-on-one process, the Director provides feedback in real-time and an exchange of ideas occurs on how to improve. Calm drills take only ten to fifteen minutes and staff are given different scenarios to practice and think on their feet.  These “calm drills” help prepare staff for an actual emergency allowing the staff to put their calm drill practices into action.


Board Business: Emergency Planning isn't just for Child Care Providers!

Boards also need to consider their own Emergency Plans!  A top priority should be succession planning. Succession planning is not a top priority for most nonprofit leaders because they believe the myth that it: 

  • Requires too much weight/expense at the top
  • Compromises authority
  • Demands time and leadership and/ or
  • Causes discomfort/uncertainty.

Managing succession proactively will calm transition times and make your Board stronger than ever.  It energizes and reassures the Board by providing a strategy for unplanned events.

The Anne E. Casey Foundation shared a publication titled "Building Leaderful Organizations: Succession Planning for Nonprofits”.  This publication presents emergency succession planning tools- an important risk management practice. Take a look and consider succession planning for your Board of Directors.