Child Care Now- May 2015

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May 2015

In the News:



Asthma Awareness Month

Did you know….

Tobacco smoke, idling cars, mold, and chemical irritants, such as air fresheners, can be asthma triggers? Children are more vulnerable to these environmental exposures because their lungs are still developing.

The Eco-Healthy Child Care Program, in which all GSA centers participate, has standards that address reducing asthma exposure. In a GSA Child Care Center, you can expect the following air quality practices:

  • We avoid conditions that lead to excess moisture to prevent the growth of mildew.
  • We maintain adequate ventilation.
  • We repair water leaks and keep humidity within a desirable range (30-50%).
  • We do not allow vehicles to idle in our designated parking areas.
  • We do not use scented or unscented candles or air fresheners.
  • We do not permit smoking anywhere on the premises or in sight of children. 

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM)

During the month of May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) highlights Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) to raise awareness about communication disorders. This year's theme is  "Early Intervention Counts." For more information and resources about early detection of communication disorders, visit ASHA’s website and identify the signs


Early Learning at ED

The Early Learning at ED newsletter provides a wealth of information, articles, and external websites regarding early childhood education. Subscribe to Early Learning at ED for more information. 


Quote of the Month: 

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. 

-Joyce Meyer


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The Family Literacy Project

family literacy project
Sheriff Apple, Chief Cox, Assemblyman McDonald, Assemblywoman Fahy and the children of Club Fed Child Care Center

City of Albany law enforcement officers joined children at Club Fed Child Care Center at the Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building, Albany, NY to kick off a family literacy project supporting high-quality early education programs as an effective way to reduce crime and save taxpayers money.

Victory Riedy, the founder of Victory Child Care, Inc. and Club Fed Child Care Center explained the Our Family Reads! project is intended to promote family reading.  A bright orange bookshelf in the Federal building (for Fort Orange, the original name of Albany) filled with gently used books provides free books for families throughout the city to take home.

The participating law enforcement leaders were joined by two state legislators Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Assemblyman John McDonald.  All voiced their support of New York State’s investment in QUALITYstarsNY—a quality rating improvement system designed to ensure quality in all early care and learning settings.  Club Fed is one of New York’s original Star centers.

Everyone also took time to sit down with the Club Fed Child Care Center children and read them a story.

Sheriff Apple said, “Law enforcement officers spend every day tracking down and arresting dangerous criminals. We must remain tough on crime, but we also know that to win the fight against crime, we must prevent kids from becoming criminals in the first place. We know from research and from our experience that the journey that brings many inmates to my facility didn’t happen overnight. The path is most often lined with a series of school failures, which sadly is often charted in a child’s earliest years. “

Chief Cox said, “We can come together as a community and all help make sure that every child who starts school here in Albany is a little better prepared.  We can come together as a community and support family reading. Other communities have embarked on similar projects and we can learn from their models.  Today just marks the beginning!  It is our hope that you will soon see bright orange bookshelves throughout the city - bookshelves teeming with books needing families to read them.”

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Assemblyman John McDonald also voiced their support of the project.  They spoke about the importance of high quality early education and how necessary it is to give children a strong foundation in the earliest years.  Assemblyman McDonald urged everyone to continue to support the fight for increased funding for QUALITYstarsNY.


In the Spotlight

Region 5

The Kinderplatz Child Care Center in Bloomington, MN, celebrated the Week of the Young Child (WOYC). Mary Jane Weltmer and Shawrene Rance organized a fun filled week for the students and their families. Throughout the week, teachers implemented a variety of entertaining and educational activities including arts and crafts. The children made purple art pieces, guitars out of tissue boxes, egg and paper plate shakers, and wore wacky outfits with wild hair dos. The festivities also included a visit from their favorite Librarian Lucy of Oxboro Public Library.

WOYC events R5

Board Business

Cost Benefit of Child Care

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has shared a Cost Benefit Analysis of Work Life Programs, including Child Care. The purpose of this project, focused on the Federal Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) and On-site Child Care Centers, was to help determine the value of these programs to the government, and to develop a robust set of recommendations to streamline and improve these programs. Some of the findings - such as increased job satisfaction for employees using child care and employee engagement are always good talking points for Boards and their sponsoring agencies.  

In conclusion, the report found that providing child care programs is associated with two major benefits to the government and employees: the programs increase job satisfaction and increase employee engagement about 8 - 10%.   

Go to to request access to the Federal Work-Life Community of Practice (CoP) page.