Child Care Now- November 2016

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November 2016

In the news:

happy holidays

January 17, 2017 -  Board Network Call

January 20, 2017 - Inauguration Day



CONGRATULATIONS to the following centers on their recent NAEYC re-accreditation:

  •  Uncle Sam's Place Child Care Center Louisville, KY
  • Columbia Federal Center Child Development Center -Columbia, SC

  • Childtime Child Care Center - Cincinnati, OH
  • Little Flyers CDC - College Park, GA
  • Future Stars - Austin, TX
  • Brooklyn Bridge Child Development Center - Brooklyn, NY
  • First Foundations Learning Center -Baltimore, MD
  • Growing Years - Seattle, WA

As the holiday season goes into full force, here are a few helpful tips to keeping safe with any holiday decorations:

  • Ensure that trees are at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, vents or space heaters.
  • Don't use staples, nails or tacks to hang electrical cords.
  • Keep lights directly away from carpeting, furniture, drapes, and other flammable materials
  • Always unplug decorative lights when leaving home.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.

For more information on holiday decoration safety tips from the CPSC, please visit:


Quote of the Month:

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style".

-Maya Angelou

Find out more about GSA Child Care:

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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.


Raising Awareness Celebrating Children's Environmental Health. 

For more information please visit:

GSA Celebrates America Recycles Day


America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Every year on or around November 15 (America Recycles Day) event organizers like you, educate neighbors, friends and colleagues through thousands of events.

Here is how some of our GSA Child Care Centers participated in the day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.

Government Center Child Care Corporation, Boston, MA

At the Government Center  Child Care Center the preschoolers learned how people can affect their environment in positive ways by recycling. The youngsters learned to reduce, reuse and recycle through books, recycling paper and plastic in their classrooms, making art projects out of recyclables, and taking field trips to the Boston Green Fest, held each year on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Submitted by:  Theresa Woods, Director

Y’s Early Childhood Program at St. Albans, VT

At the Y, recycling happens center wide.  The children learn about recycling throughout the school year.  Boxes are reused for blocks or recreating a grocery store in the classroom.  The center grows their own fruits and vegetables in the garden and children talk about ways to make the planet earth healthy.  Submitted by: Pamela Fontaine, Director

Day Early Learning Federal Center, Indianapolis, IN

The center received funds from the agency recycling program to create a better tuition assistance sliding scale for federal families.  This funding allowed three additional families to receive tuition assistance.  Submitted by:   Kristi Linson, Center Director

Kinderplatz, Bloomington,MN

Kinderplatz students proudly recycle in their preschool classrooms.  They are quick to teach any visiting parents where their recycling bins are located and how it is done! Kinderplatz has expanded its eco-friendly practices by relying on paperless parent communications and by using sugarcane based bags and disposable paper products for food service.  To further demonstrate the program's success in joint eco-friendly practices with GSA, Kinderplatz distributed GSA allocated recycling funds as  a weekly "recycling tuition rebate" to Federal families for nearly two years.  Submitted by:  Marianna Kahkonen, Director/Owner and Barbara Hamilton, Assistant Director.

Center Spotlight: Region 1



Preschoolers from the JFK and O’Neill Federal Buildings both in Boston, MA celebrated Veteran’s Day at the Veteran’s Administration Outreach Clinic on Causeway Street.   The children made cards, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag” for ex-POW’s from World War II and other wars.   Charlie Walsh, ex-POW coordinator, is an alumnae grandparent from the O’Neill Center.  This was the 15th year that the childcare centers celebrated Veteran’s day with the Veterans.

From all of us here at GSA, thank you for all you do.

Board Business: Resolving Differences

This month has been all about elections across the country and coming together to make our democracy strong.  Lessons Boards can learn from this process is the topic of an article by Ron Friedman in the Harvard Business Review.  

Friedman explains if you "work with anyone long enough.…you’re bound to encounter a difference of opinion,"  But,  problems begin when “you find yourself immersed in a conversation so emotionally charged it seems to have nothing to do with the issue you’re supposedly discussing".  Is the goal for Boards to recruit members who all have the same opinion?  Of course not, diversity is what makes Boards stronger and more effective.  The goal should be to develop and encourage strategies to find common resolution that respects all points of view.

Boards can do this by tabling the discussion to give everyone more time to research the topic, by working with the Provider to survey parents or staff about the issue, or by accessing available outside resources for an independent assessment.  The focus should be strategies that enable the Board to make decisions based on the facts, not on emotions.

A tool Friedman recommends to diffuse difficult discussions is the PEARLS technique:

         Partnership ('I bet we can figure this out together.')

         Empathy ('I can hear your concern.')

         Acknowledgment ('You clearly put a lot of work into          this.')

         Respect ('I've always appreciated your creativity.')

         Legitimation ('This would be hard for anyone.')

         Support ('I'd like to help you with this.')

"The key," Friedman notes, "is to employ them sparingly at first and to say only the ones that genuinely reflect how you feel."  Hope these “pearls of wisdom” help you bring resolution to your board business during the coming year!

The next quarterly Board Networking call is Tuesday, January 17th, 2:00 PM- 3:00 pm EST. The topic will be “Marketing Your Child Care Program”. Please mark your calendar and save the date.  If you have great marketing ideas to share, please contact Jill Rhea at or Sandy Axelrod at

Reference: Friedman, R. (2016, January 12). Defusing an Emotionally Charged Conversation with a Colleague.Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from