We Need a Contest Winner!

The Fairy Tale Ball is only two days away, and Princess Merida is busy sharpening her skills for the dance floor.  (Hey, she’s already a great shot at archery, why not?)

She has also been practicing her signature and stocking up on pens, since every child receives a souvenir book with plenty of room for autographs. She just knows she’ll be the talk of the Ball and sign more autographs than any other character! After all, all of the children will have the opportunity to play in her enchanted forest and play games.

Speaking of stocking up on pens, Childcare Resources Resource and Referral team keeps a large quantity on hand too! Our Supplemental Child Care Program (SCCP) assists eligible parents with paying for the cost of child care. Based on a sliding scale related to family size and income, parents pay a portion of the cost of care and Childcare Resources pays the rest.  Lots of pens are needed to complete all of the applications necessary to apply, but it is well worth the time and effort!

Helping local families afford quality child care is a vital aspect of Childcare Resources.  Many working families turn to us to assist their needs, but when funding is low, our services are limited.  Due to decreases in government funding for SCCP, as of May 15, 2012, we have suspended further applications for this vital program.

Your ticket purchase to the Fairy Tale Ball provides the support needed to sustain and grow the programs offered by Childcare Resources – programs that help give our children the best start in life.

Birmingham was recently named the third largest metro area for charitable giving. We hope you will consider contributing to our area’s generosity by attending the Ball and making memories with your family!

You never know, you might end up on television.  Our good friends at CBS 42 are a generous supporter and will be there to check out all the fun too!

Contest Alert!

It’s always great to look your best if you appear on television, right? Make sure you princess or wizard is ready by entering our hairstyle contest! You must be a verified guest (meaning you need to have purchased tickets in advance) to enter. The winner will be chosen tomorrow at 12:00 pm. Don’t miss out on another fun experience to add to your family’s Fairy Tale Ball memories!

A special thanks goes out to XCell Academy for sponsoring the contest!

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Will the Old Woman in the Shoe Make it to the Ball?

With three days to go, the Old Woman in the Shoe is about to cry. She has all these children but has no idea what to do with any of them. She’s so busy she might have to miss the Fairy Tale Ball!

Thankfully, she recently decided to turn her shoe into a child development center, hired a few child care providers and enrolled other children to attend as well. Now she is eligible for four of Childcare Resources’ great programs!

The first thing the Old Woman did was sign up to participate in the Early Learning Resource Library and Van. Now the Old Woman can check out children’s books, make die cuts and laminate materials. Yesterday, when she realized one of the teachers wanted to teach her class about insects, she was able to check out a book to help that teacher plan the lessons, as well as a theme box full of insect activities! Plus, once a month, a van with library resources visits the shoe school for teachers to browse and check out items.

(Oh, and the best part? Parents can join too! Stop by and fill out an application!)

One of her classroom teachers is having difficulties with implementing circle time activities. Thankfully, Childcare Resources has “Training with a Purpose,” a program designed to provide topic specific, hands on technical assistance in this classroom. Now, in addition to specialized training, the teacher will have the opportunity to see an experienced child development consultant “in action.”

I’m sure the Old Woman’s infants and toddlers take up a great deal of her time—they have so many needs! The Old Woman could apply to participate in the Infant Toddler Program. The Infant Toddler Program offers free training, one-on-one consultations, program assessments, and classroom stipends to participating child care centers to improve the quality of care in their infant and toddler classrooms.

In a few years, the Old Woman might decide to apply to an accreditation program.  Childcare Resources will assist her through RISE (Reaching Improvement through Self-Evaluation). The program offers free training, one-on-one consultations, program assessments, and classroom stipends to child care programs interested in working towards reaching national accreditation standards and improving the quality of early care they offer at their child care center.

The Old Woman never would have been able to attend the Ball without the support of Childcare Resources. To show her appreciation, she’s bringing her shoe for all the children to play in at the Ball—don’t miss out!

(At the moment, the Old Woman is busy at the doctor’s office with a handful of sick children—good thing she has great health insurance through one of the Fairy Tale Ball’s corporate sponsors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama!

There’s always a wait, but thankfully she brought along the lastest edition of Birmingham Magazine to read. (They are a 2012 Fairy Tale Ball Sponsor too!)

Snow White: On a Mission to Care for the Seven Dwarfs

Four days until the Fairy Tale Ball, and Snow White is as busy as ever! Not only does she have housework to do, she also serves as a teacher and mediator among the seven dwarfs!

Did you know that Alabama has Minimum Standards regarding licensed child care providers? From class size to release policies, these businesses are regulated by the Alabama Department of Human Resources to ensure basic needs of those attending child care facilities.

Snow White seems a bit stressed right now. Perhaps she needs to attend one of Childcare Resources training sessions—many of which are offered at no cost to the participant. Our professional child development consultants deliver sessions in a variety of categories, from health and safety to language development, from administration and management to positive guidance and discipline.

And the best part? These classes, while designed for child care providers, are available and free to parents as well. So, come and learn the secrets to early childhood development–you won’t regret the amount of knowledge you acquire in each session (plus, there’s the added bonus of fun, games, fellowship and the entertaining personality of each of our trained child development specialists).

If Snow White hadn’t taken a bite of that poisoned apple, I’m SURE she would have stayed awake for her session on positive guidance this week (Don’t fret: the apple tarts at the Ball won’t put you into a deep sleep –unless you want them too, that is! We won’t tell!).

So, come out and support those who will provide the leadership and vision of our economy: attend the Fairy Tale Ball and have a positive impact on our future!

{In case you missed it, please watch the video in the link above.)

And, speaking of preparing for the future, check out one of our corporate sponsors: Protective Life Corporation.


John D. Johns, Chairman, President and CEO, is this year’s Fairy Tale Ball Honorary Chairman.

Pinoccio: One Week Before the Ball

We’ve all heard of Pinocchio: the puppet whose wish to be a “real boy” came true.

One week before the Ball, he’s having a great time, running and playing with all the other real boys!

But what about Geppetto, his “father,” the one who made him and controlled his movements as a puppet? What a responsibility–directing another’s life!

Childcare Resources recognizes that leadership in the early care and education field is not easy. In fact, we have a child care consultant whose primary focus is to assist, train and mentor child care directors. From opening a child care business to training staff members, Childcare Resources is here to offer career assistance to Blount, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker counties (we’ve even had some St. Clair county clients recently too!).

Your ticket to the Fairy Tale Ball will not only allow you to interact with Pinocchio and Geppetto, it also ensures that local child care directors have the tools and resources necessary to offer the highest quality services to their clients.

So, purchase a ticket, “have a ball,” and assist Childcare Resources in making more dreams come true!

Fairy Tale Ball: 8 Days to Go. Wake up Sleeping Beauty!

Sleeping Beauty has been sleeping for close to 100 years now. What? You didn’t know? Let me tell you the story:

At Sleeping Beauty’s christening, seven fairies were invited to be her Godmothers. They attended and lavished gifts upon her, such as beauty and wisdom. But a wicked fairy, having been overlooked, arrives and places an enchantment on her: she will prick her finger and die. Thankfully, one last fairy remains to give her gift. She partially reverses the curse, causing Sleeping Beauty instead to sleep for 100 years instead of dying.

(I don’t know about you, but a 100 year sleep sounds quite appealing on many days of my week!)

Pricking her finger must have hurt! (I myself nearly faint when giving a blood sample at the doctor’s office.) Could the accident have been avoided?  Perhaps it could have, if certain standards had been in place.

Childcare Resources worked as an integral part of the recent Health and Safety Regulations issued by the Jefferson County Department of Health. The new regulations help to ensure higher quality standards in both licensed and license-exempt child care centers in Jefferson county.  We are proud to have impacted the lives of approximately 17,600 children enrolled in child care!

Attending the Fairy Tale Ball supports our child care provider training sessions, one of which addresses these new regulations. At least twice per month, sessions are led to assist child care providers in understanding what is now required of them, ensuring that more child care provides are complying with the standards.  As a result, children are spending their days in safer, healthier environments!

Need another reason to attend the Ball this year? I heard a rumor that a Prince is coming to wake Sleeping Beauty her from her 100 year sleep—right before our eyes. I can’t wait to see it!

9 Days to Go: Peter Pan’s Preparations

 Peter Pan never wants to grow up. Being a young boy is too much fun! Nine days before the Fairy Tale Ball, he’s busy as usual: playing with the Lost Boys, of course.

The Lost Boys depend on Peter Pan. He guides their days, leading them on great adventures and introducing them to new experiences.

As a parent looking for child care, it’s easy to feel “lost” too. There are so many options: how do you know which one is best for you (not to mention the fact that you are working limits the amount of time you can spend searching)?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a leader like Peter Pan? Someone to show you where to look, what to look for, and which options best met your needs? Don’t worry, Childcare Resources’ Resource and Referral department is here to guide you in your search!

Let us help you find the best child care for your needs. You can search online, or fill out a search request form and speak with a consultant.

Attending the Fairy Tale Ball is an easy way to help “lost” parents find affordable child care too, as tickets sales benefit these important services.

Plus, attending the Ball means you’ll get to see Peter Pan, and play on Captain Hook’s pirate ship! Get ready for the fun!

10 Days Before Fairy Tale Ball: Cinderella’s Wish

Poor Cinderella! Her evil stepmother is taking her two stepsisters to the Fairy Tale Ball, but she’s being forced to tend to the house.

Good thing she has a Fairy Godmother; she arrived just in time to cheer Cinderella up by telling her wish to attend the Ball would be granted!

So Cinderella keeps her chin up, scrubbing the floors and hanging the laundry out to dry…

Childcare Resources’ staff members are busy too! It takes a lot of work to get ready for the Ball, especially when they still spending the work weeks providing services to Central Alabama’s young children and families.

Consider, if you will, our mission as our “wish” from the Fairy Godmother: “to make quality care and education of children happen by providing information, education, and assistance to families, providers of child care, and the community.”

We believe our children and families are providing for our future. It is our vision to help them along.

So, what’s your wish? 10 days before Fairy Tale Ball, I’m hoping one of them is to assist in meeting our goal by attending the Ball—tickets sales benefit our work!

Let’s start a “Wishing Well” in the comments: What do you wish for young children and families?

(Getting excited about the ball? Listen to the story of Cinderella online too!)