Picking Safer Plastics

If you think “The Graduate” when you see or hear the word “plastics” you are either of a certain generation or a fan of classic movies. Plastics have made our lives easier and more convenient since the 1950’s. Although this invention seems to be the best thing since sliced bread, it has also brought about…

Exploring Nature with Infants

Can babies play outside? Many people feel babies are too young to play outdoors. Caregivers tend to keep infants and toddlers indoors; worried that weather isn’t quite right for them. The journey of exploring nature starts at birth. Helping babies explore nature helps to develop their sensory skills. The joy of learning using nature can…

Living Out Our Mission Statement

Recently, Kristian Boyle, Quality Specialist, and I taught Creating Individual Professional Development Plans at Washington Park Christian Church off West State Street in Rockford, IL. Kimberly Lyons, a local 13+ year child care provider recommended her church to us and provided light refreshments for all guests. Additionally, Pastor Allen was present the entire time to…

To the World You May Be One Person….

As a contributing “blogger”, my assigned focus is to promote upcoming trainings/workshops that YWCA Northwestern Illinois Child Care Solutions offer. All of our trainings/workshops should result in improving the quality of care. I felt this blog was appropriate to remind child care providers that the quality of care they provide should leave a positive impact…

Safety Recalls

How do you know if items in your home, classroom, and playground are safe? As a mom of two little girls, we have a lot of different items in our home. Generally, new items come with instructions and registration cards. These registration cards are intended to inform a consumer of recalls, but how often are…

Providers Can Benefit From Sharing Too

“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” –Ani DiFranco As consultants at the YWCA, our job is more than just telling providers about ExceleRate, although I’m sure we’ve created that label for ourselves! Through our observations, it has been reinforced that a positive and…

Dressing for Success

My older son attended a charter school for kindergarten last year that incorporated a dress code with specific parameters. The children were expected to meet a minimum standard in their attire and were encouraged to “dress for success” by making sure that their clothes were clean, shirts were tucked in and that belts were worn…

Keeping Fun Activities Safe

Both children and adults enjoy creative art activities. When engaging in an art activity, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind to insure the fun you are experiencing is also safe. First, art supplies can contain toxic ingredients that pose a risk to the person using the materials. For example, lead, asbestos, and…