The Wheels on the (Library) Bus Go Round and Round!

Our NEW van returned to service today delivering FREE resources to area child care providers in Bessemer and McCalla. Visits will be made to child care providers in Blount, Shelby and Walker counties later this month.

Due to a generous grant from Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and additional support from Crown Automobile along with support for materials from PNC Grow Up Great and United Way of Central Alabama, Childcare Resources announces the return of the agency’s Mobile Library service.

This free service is available to area child care providers in Blount, Shelby and Walker counties and rural areas of Jefferson County. The Mobile Library delivers much needed books, music, play items, puppets, and teacher curriculum and lesson planning guides to child care programs to improve the quality of child care. During the month of October as we celebrate the new vehicle and return of this valuable service, child care providers may choose to keep books and other resources for their programs. Childcare Resources is donating useable materials from their collection to child care programs as the agency prepares to stock their shelves with new resources for 2014.

For more information on this service, contact the agency at 205-252-1991 ext. 315.

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Do Something.

Remember those annoying camp songs you sang every year, particularly the ones that repeated themselves with the ending, “Same song, different verse, a little bit louder and a little bit worse?”

Welcome to the state of America’s children.

As this article clearly states, our future isn’t looking any better than it was a few years ago (no, we don’t need shades for this one).  The number of children living below the poverty line is increasing; families are having an even harder time raising tomorrow’s leaders.

How can we expect great things to happen here when parents spend 30% of their income on child care alone? Child care which, for the most part, isn’t even exceptional, isn’t really preparing our children for the task of starting school.

We live in a society where people will stand in line for hours just to be among the first to buy the newest smart phone, yet we won’t stand up for providing the best early care and education for our children.

We should all adhere to Frederick Douglass’s insight: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

How long will it take us to realize that we are only hurting ourselves? We don’t need to focus so much on amending the problem as we do in preventing it.

Here’s my challenge to you: do one thing this month for our children. For five minutes, get off your social network, put down your smart phone, press “pause” on your DVR. Take a few minutes to take the first step in creating a better economic future for Alabama. Here are some suggestions: {links to all will be given}

There is no better time than now: what are you waiting for?

Strong Start for Children: Why Early Childhood Education Matters

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Change the first five years and you can change everything. 

In the works is a groundbreaking plan for young children. And for our future.

Childcare Resources is proud to take part in the “Strong Start for Children Campaign” with Child Care Aware of America

The proposed 2014 budget calls for remarkable new investments for early learning, as well as those who teach children.

What could change, you ask?

  • increased funding to expand Pre-K programs, which would lead to more jobs
  • increased standards for Pre-K programs, leading to
    • better educated teachers receiving more high-quality training as well as higher salaries and better benefits;
    • and lower child-staff ratios and smaller classes
  • more accessibility to services for children with special needs, thereby increasing their chances of succeeding in life while decreasing their vulnerability to child abuse
  • more voluntary home-visiting programs, which could lead to increased school readiness in children, stronger families, and a decrease in child abuse

Specifically, the proposed budget would benefit YOU and our service area. Childcare Resources has the potential to provide more supplemental child care assistance funding, as well as more high quality teacher training and technical assistance services.

We believe that the first five years of learning set the foundation for the future of each child’s life. Why is this important? Children are the future of our great country.

 They are our leaders, our teachers, our doctors and researchers. They are the ones who will determine our care in our latter years.

 Before us stands the possibility of doing a great deal of good, not only for our community now, but for our nation as a whole.

In fact, the recently introduced Senate bill S.1086, “The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013,” a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for the first time in over 17 years, is already setting the way for higher standards.  Under it, child care providers receiving federal funds would have to

  • Receive health and safety training in specific areas
  • Receive comprehensive background checks (including fingerprints, checks of the sex offender and child abuse registries)
  • Receive on-site monitoring

Forgive us for asking, but do you see anything negative about this?

Today, June 5, 2013, is the Early Learning Day of Action.

We urge you to show your support for young children in the United States. Stand up for children, TODAY! Loudly and proudly!

 

early childhood education policy

A Few of our Junior Board members standing strong for children!

 

The Time is Now

Imagine this:
You spend $150 per week on care for yourself. This “care” is advertised as supposedly preparing you for a future career, exercising your mind and body.
What you end up getting is several hours a day with a group of others like yourself, all being cared for by someone who doesn’t understand the best ways to teach you and isn’t clear on exactly what you should be able to do.
Would you demand a refund by the end of the week?
My guess is yes. And yet, for roughly 40% of our children under the age of five in Alabama, this is their reality. Child care in the United States is too often seen as glorified babysitting. Programs advertise using a curriculum and offering activities, but, more often than not, children are simply allowed to do as they please (within reason…most of the time). Our “standards” are not where they should be; they don’t look out for our children’s best interests.
Why, you ask? Easy: our society doesn’t put enough emphasis on the importance of the earliest years. We worry about our children once they get to the public school system, but pass over them until then.
It’s hard to turn on any media source without hearing or seeing the latest “hot topic” these days, mainly gun control. Society is crying out for the right and responsibility to protect our children, but what about their right to a solid educational foundation? Where are those supporters?
Social change doesn’t happen with silence and passivity.
The time has come, dear friends, to start getting angry at the injustice of early childhood education and our young children; after all, these will be our leaders and lawmakers soon enough. Shouldn’t we want them to have the best start?
Learn more about what Childcare Resources does to assist local early childhood teachers, families, the community, and what you can do to help!
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Tips for TEMPO!

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Follow us on Instagram: @CHILDCARERESOURCESBHAM

We look forward to you joining us for TEMPO – A Family Fun Festival.

Our event is on the West Green directly across 1st Avenue South from the new Regions Field baseball stadium. The BLUE line is the best line for Railroad Park access.

Parking downtown can be confusing! Keep these tips in mind:

  • Parking: Parking is limited close to the park. Here are our suggested parking options.
  • NOTE: The entire block of 18th Street to 19th Street between Morris Avenue and 3rd Avenue South will be CLOSED from 9 – 11:30 AM for the cycling events.
  • DART Trolley: Because there is a game Saturday evening, the downtown trolley DART system will be available for free starting at 10 am Saturday for you or your family’s use.

Activities/Entertainment: There will be much to see and do at TEMPO – A Family Fun Festival. Checkout the fun-filled schedule below!

10:00 am                   Cahaba Cycles Mock Crit Race

10:00                          Stage: BC/BS Zumba

10:30                          Family Bike Ride

10:30                          Stage: HEAL Dance

11:00                          Stage: The Checkerboard Guy

11:30                          Stage: Si Reasoning Improv Rhythm Activity

12:00 pm                   BUMP Skills and Safety Clinic, 12 and under

12:30                          Stage: Mommy & Me Time Fitness Mommy Fit 

1:00                            Stage: BC/BS Zumba

1:30                            Stage: The Checkerboard Guy

See you tomorrow!
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P.S. Check out all of our awesome partners and sponsors!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend TEMPO this Saturday!

TOP 10 REASONS TO ATTEND TEMPO THIS SATURDAY:
 
10. Participate in a family bike ride downtown!
9. You can meet members of the Birmingham Barons!
8. Learn about bike skills and safety for riders under 12, presented by BUMP!
7. Get free bike repair and maintenance lessons from BiciCoop and Redemptive Cycles!
5. You might win a bike from Cahaba Cycles!
4. “Funderstanding” activities: children’s games and activities provided by local nonprofits, with updated information for parents!
3. The first 500 children will receive a free bike helmet from Cory, Watson, Crowder & DeGaris!
2. Have you seen how beautiful the weather is going to be Saturday?
1. It’s a great way to spend the day in Railroad Park with the whole family!
 
So, grab your bike and helmet, pack up the family and join us at TEMPO!
 
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Are you ready for TEMPO?

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TEMPO: you’ve seen us posting about it a lot lately…but what is it? It’s new, FREE family event in Railroad Park, that’s what!

Check out this quick slideshow for an overview, then visit us online for more details

Oh, and one more thing, “Join” the event on Facebook to help spread the word!

See you next Saturday!