Safety Rules for Parents & Kids

August 6, 2015

Roseane Maitland

Parent Educator for Born Learning

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As a Parent Educator in the Born Learning Parent Engagement Program at ChildCareGroup, I get the opportunity to work with families and their young children, ages 0 to 5, every day. By teaching parents and children a set of curriculum that helps develop language, cognitive, and social skills, my colleagues and I help young children prepare for kindergarten and beyond. My extensive time spent with children also makes me a very protective mother, and I understand the importance of establishing safety rules between parents and kids. Here are few safety rules every parent and child should keep in mind:

  1. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR

For their own safety, kids should not open the door for anyone or answer the phone if they are home alone. It’s much easier for a child to just ignore the phone than to pick up and accidently say they are home alone. Kids should really only answer the phone if their parents are calling.

  1. KNOW YOUR INFORMATION

Every parent has had that terrifying moment when they are at the grocery store, and suddenly their child is no longer right by their side. Teach your kids to stay where they are when they become separated from you. Kids should have their address and phone number memorized. They should also know how to dial 911 and identify police officers.

  1. BUDDY SYSTEM

Teach your kids never to go anywhere without you or a trusted buddy. In school, kids are usually taught to buddy up with a classmate, and this rule should apply everywhere. A child should never go anywhere unaccompanied.

  1. FAMILY CODE WORD

Make a code word!  This is fun for kids and is a great way to ensure their safety. Teach your kids not to get into any car or vehicle without permission. The code word is good to use when you cannot pick up your kids from school and need a friend or family member to do the job. It is important to make sure the child does not get in the car, even if a familiar face is at the wheel, unless that person knows the code word. Make sure to come up with a word that is unique and easy to remember.

  1. DON’T KEEP SECRETS

Children should be taught not to keep secrets from their parents. There are, of course, differences between little secrets, like a surprise birthday party for Daddy, and bigger secrets; but be sure to teach your kids the difference. Kids should not keep any secrets from their parents, especially between themselves and other adults.

Kids are so precious and trusting, so it is crucial to talk to them about safety rules. Safe practices will help protect them and give you peace of mind.  For more information on safety rules and tips for children, visit Child Rescue Network.


Crafts: Pete the Cat

July 29, 2015

ChildCareGroup depends on volunteers to help us continue teaching children and parents, training education professionals, and assisting families in Dallas. We greatly appreciate the time and service our volunteers give, and they help us impact the lives of more than 40,000 children, parents, and early childhood professionals each year. Last April, ChildCareGroup launched the first Great Big JAM at Dallas Country Club, a family literacy event featuring crafts, breakfast, and an exciting performance by Eric Litwin, the New York Times bestselling author of the first four books in the Pete the Cat series. Our event was an amazing hit thanks to volunteers from PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, Frost Bank, National Charity League – Turtle Creek, and Junior League of Dallas.

Volunteers

Volunteers from PepsiCo/Frito-Lay did face painting for all of the children at the event. Frost Bank and Junior League of Dallas volunteers helped with the event’s bookstore and registration.

The event crafts — Pete the Cat crowns and spoon maracas — were done with the Turtle Creek Chapter of National Charity League. The crowns and maracas were a lot of fun for the kids at the Great Big JAM this year and will be a great hit for your kids this summer! Below are the list of supplies and instructions for each craft.

PETE THE CAT CROWN

What you’ll need:

  • 18 x 12 sheet of construct paper
  • Scissors
  • Cat eye stickers (optional)
  • Stapler
  • Black crayon/marker

Instructions:

  1. Using the blue construction paper, cut the full 18×12 sheet in half. You should now have 2 sheets, both pieces 18×6.
  1. Take one of the sheets and fold it in half.

Child

  1. ¼ from the edge of each side take your scissors and carefully cut 2 triangular incisions. This should form a triangle towards the fold line. Please try not to cut past the fold line.
  1. Flip up the two triangles you have just made to make cat ears.
  1. On the clean side of the paper, not showing the cuts made, stick on your cat eye stickers OR draw your own.
  1. With a black crayon/marker, draw a cat nose and whiskers.
  1. Once the face is finished, staple the two ends together to make a crown. If it does not fit, you may need to use the remaining flap behind the face you made by cutting it.

SPOON MARACAS

What you’ll need:

  • Elbow macaroni
  • 2 plastic eggs
  • Duct tape (any color/pattern)
  • 4 plastic spoons

Instructions:

  1. Using one plastic egg, place 3-4 pieces of elbow macaroni inside.
  1. Close the egg tightly.
  1. Place 2 spoons on the outside of the egg. Make sure the inside of the spoons are cradling the egg.
  1. Tape the egg, starting from the middle. This should secure the 2 spoons around the egg.
  1. The tape should cover the entire maraca. Now shake and you’ve got yourself a maraca!

SpoonsI hope you enjoy this fun craft to do with your kids. Don’t forget to look out for next year’s Great Big JAM with author, Laura Numeroff, author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Work for Biscuit, on Saturday, April 9th of 2016!


Julia’s Story

July 2, 2015

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Julia is a courageous mother of four, who moved to the United States with her husband nine years ago. Before coming to the states, Julia lived in Mexico, where she and her husband both had careers as accountants. Julia’s husband believed they could provide an even better life for their family in the United States, where they could find opportunities not available in Mexico.

In 2006, Julia and her husband left their relatives, careers, and culture behind to come to the U.S. They only knew a little bit of English when they first arrived in the new country. Although Julia held an accounting position back home, her first job in the United States was as a fry cook at a McDonald’s restaurant. Julia and her husband have worked hard to build a new and better life for their family.

Julia now has four beautiful children. Her youngest is a two-year old named Joshua, who is currently enrolled in ChildCareGroup’s Born Learning Parent Engagement Program, which serves families with young children, age 0 to 5. Born Learning Parent Educators visit the families every two weeks and set up curriculum for the children and parents to work on together. Joshua is a very active child, and thanks to the Born Learning program, he has opportunities to engage in activities that many children do not get to participate in until kindergarten. Joshua has thrived in the program.

Parent Educators also help parents identify children’s learning and developmental needs and connect families to a medical home, job training, English classes, and other support services in the community. Julia’s Parent Educator motivated her to get more involved in the community, so she became involved in the Hispanic Families Network in the Bachman Lake neighborhood of Dallas. This program uses media innovation to engage local Hispanic communities around issues that are important to them. Through this engagement, Julia became knowledgeable about early childhood education and community resources. In Mexico, many parents do not understand why early education is so important to childhood development. Julia believes ChildCareGroup’s Born Learning program has done a lot to help her grow as a parent and better serve her family.

Nine years after moving to the U.S., Julia has her green card, works as a part time teaching aid and is enrolled in English classes at Brookhaven College. She is glad she can help share them with other families in her work. With all of her hard work, Julia still wants to accomplish more. She dreams of buying a house and of seeing all of her children graduate from college.

Julia and her husband had the courage to leave everything they had in Mexico to start fresh in the United States. They have made tremendous sacrifices so their children can access more opportunities and have a better life.  Julia does miss her home in Mexico – the culture, food and all of her family – but enjoys the freedom and opportunity available here in the U.S. Julia and her husband are truly inspiring for parents in similar situations.  Julia hopes parents from all backgrounds know that anything is possible with goals, perseverance and a strong foundation of education.

Having access to quality education for her young children here in Dallas is Julia’s favorite thing about living in the United States. Julia wants all parents to know that it is possible for kids to receive a quality education from an early age and that receiving an education will make meaningful impact on their lives for years to come. Parents are looking for education for their children all the time, but when budgets and resources are limited, many parents feel they must give up the search. Yet if they stick with it, so many doors will open for them.

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Celebrating 50 Years

January 22, 2015

Today is Fannie Curry Day at ChildCareGroup!

Fannie Curry - 1960sToday ChildCareGroup honors the incredible service and commitment of Ms. Fannie Curry, who began her career at CCG on January 22, 1965.

Fannie taught in the classroom for 17 years and in 1982 she transitioned over to CCG’s Family Day Home program, where she worked with providers who cared for infants and toddlers in their homes.

In the late 1980’s the federal government passed legislation that gave money to states for child care assistance. Texas developed the Child Care Management System and ChildCareGroup was awarded the contract to administer the subsidy program in Dallas and 7 other counties. We had to have the program up & running in just a month, so Fannie was recruited to help implement the program, which included enrolling children and setting up the payment system. Her expertise in early education, combined with an understanding of the billing and payment function, was a perfect fit.

Many things have changed in the last 50 years, but one thing has not: Fannie Curry’s commitment and dedication to ChildCareGroup and to the children and families we serve.

Fannie, we thank you for your service, and for being a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend to all of us.

Fannie Curry - November 2014


Availity at Anderson and Landauer ChildCareGroup Centers

September 25, 2012

Availity employees recently volunteered at our Anderson and Landauer early care and school readiness education centers for United Way Days of Caring projects. 

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We were thrilled to have them at our centers! Volunteers played with children, read books and assisted with classroom activities. The children loved having them at the centers. Come visit again!

THANK YOU AVAILITY!