Child Care Now-March 2015

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March 2015

In the News:


Read Aloud: 

Why is it important to read aloud?  Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning. Some benefits include:  

  • enhancing language development, 
  • establishing a love for reading, 
  • knowledge gained and shared, 
  • literacy skills, 
  • brain development, and 
  • bonding.  

To learn how you can join the movement and promote 15 minutes of read aloud a day for children and their parents visit:


Week of the Young Child (WOYC)

Mark your calendars. The National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) Week of the Young Child is April 12-18, 2015. 

Join this week-long celebration of early learning. Each weekday focuses on different ways to make play meaningful and learning fun! Visit the NAEYC Week of the Young Child (WOYC) website for information on how you can get involved.

Please send us stories about your WOYC events to be featured in a future newsletter. 


Quote of the Month: 

"This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across the country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition. "

First Lady Michelle Obama


Find out more about GSA Child Care:

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GSA Contractor Award

Congratulations to the project team for the Sidney R.Yates Building which received a design/build award for a recent renovation. This building, on the National Register of Historic Places, underwent a major renovation including the 10,000 square foot USDA Child Development Center. For more information on two GSA projects honored at the Washington Contractor Awards, please visit:


USDA photo by Lance Cheung

Smart Snacking & Healthy Eating

nutrition with kids

As we embrace National Nutrition Month consider assessing your snack and meal choices. Educate your children and families by offering resources on how to eat healthy at school and at home. Bite into a healthy lifestyle everywhere you go. For more information on Join my Plate visit:

GSA child care centers participate in the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign and 97% have successfully completed the challenge.  Let's Move! promotes physical activity and eating healthy. For more information visit:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several resources for healthier eating habits and one is Smart Snacks. Take the opportunity to assess what your child care center is offering and while doing so answer the question: Are the snacks that you offer at your child care center smart snacks? The USDA released updated nutrition standards for snacks and drinks served throughout the school building.  Offering healthy snack choices are a collective effort which means we must all work together to offer healthy choices throughout our community.  For more information on smart snacks visit:


In the Spotlight

Region 5

news years photo

The children of Kinderplatz Childcare and Education Center in Bloomington, Minnesota welcomed the New Year of the Sheep.

On February 19th, 3 year old teacher, Veronique Quach organized a new year’s party. During the party, children performed dances of the Asian culture, listened to stories, and participated in a fashion show of spectacular traditional Asian outfits that were brought by Veronique’s family from Vietnam!


Board Business

Setting A Goal!

Why is setting a fundraising goal important?  Every nonprofit or charitable organization that doesn't have a guaranteed source of income will earn it by raising money if it supports a fundraising goal. A fundraising goal is an amount of money that an organization wants, needs, and believes it can raise, over and above expenses, within the fundraising cycle.

How do you arrive at the goal amount? Ideally, setting the dollar amount of your fundraising goal should be a collaborative process. It should be overseen by the group leader, with input from whoever handles your organization's treasury.The resulting number will represent all of the income that your group brings in and all the forecasted expenses along the way. Upon calculating your total income amount needed planners should consider:

  • How much money is needed to meet the needs and goals you have identified as well as continue your group’s work?
  • How much money was raised in the previous year?
  • How much can reasonably be raised this year?
  • The minimum your group can raise and remain within budget, with appropriate penny-pinching, and
  • A reasonable dollar amount that will cover the projected expenses.

Such predictions can be difficult to forsee, and your urge may be to simply say something like, “Well, we know we need to raise $8,000 for dance classes, so let’s just keep trying to raise money until we get there.” The problem with such a blind approach is that you may never get there. Some fundraising methods are simply so time-consuming and inefficient that anyone running the numbers in advance could predict they would raise only a small sum of money.

On the other hand, aiming high can become a powerful motivator — while aiming low can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

These are the kinds of issues worth considering as part of your planning process.

For more information on fundraising strategies for small and volunteer groups check out this bookThe Volunteers' Guide to Fundraising: Raise Money for Your School, Team, Library or Community Group (Nolo). Or for larger groups with a paid development staff check out this book: Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits: Real-World Strategies That Work (Nolo)