Early Education Newsletter
 July 2017 

Recently Increased to Level 3
Monroe County
Tiny Babes Daycare and Preschool, Inc

Vigo County
ABC Preschool
ABC Preschool

Recently Increased to Level 2
Greene County
Eastern Greene Elementary Early Learning Center

Recently Enrolled
Vigo County
Eduplay Child Care
Little Bugs Daycare Site C


ATTENTION CASY Food Program Providers:

Did you know Food Program changes are coming !? In May all CASY Food Program providers were mailed a packet with information regarding these changes and the mandatory training schedule. Call extension 38 at the CASY office to register for your training/s today as they are filling up fast.  These Updated Meal  Patterns trainings are open to your staff as well. See information below for a brief overview of the upcoming required changes.

USDA recently revised the CACFP meal patterns to ensure child and adults have access to healthy, balance meals throughout the day. Under the new child and adult meal patterns, meals served will include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. The changes made to the meal patterns are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scientific recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine, and stakeholder input. CACFP centers and day care homes must comply with the meal patterns effective October 1, 2017. Below is a brief overview of the upcoming revisions to Child and Adult Meal Patterns

Regular Meal Pattern
Greater variety of vegetables and fruits:                
The combined fruit and vegetable component will become a separate vegetable component and a separate fruit component.                  
100 % juice will be limited to once per day
More whole grains:                
At least one serving of grains per day will have to be grain rich.                
Grain based desserts will no longer count towards the grains component.
More protein options:                
Will be able to serve meat and meat alternative in place of grains at breakfast a maximum of three times per week.                  
Tofu will count as a meat alternative
Less added sugar:                
Yogurt will only be allowed to contain no more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounce                             Breakfast cereals will only be allowed to contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce
Making every sip count:
Unflavored whole milk will only be allowed to be served to children 1 year to 23 months. Unflavored low-fat or fat-free milk will only be allowed to be served to children 2 through 5 years.
Unflavored low-fat or fat-free milk or flavored fat-free milk will only be allowed to be served to children 6 years old and older.
Infant Meal Pattern  
Infant Age Groups and Solid Foods:    
Two age groups: 0-5 months and 6-11 months  
Solid foods are allowed when developmentally appropriate for the infant  
Breastfeeding and Infant Snack:
Meals may be reimbursed when a mother breastfeeds on-site  
A vegetable or fruit must be served at snack for older infants; prohibits juice  
Ready-to-eat cereals are allowed at snack for older infants  
Meat and Meat Alternates:   
Allows cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt  
Whole eggs
NOTE: These Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Pattern Changes taking effect October 1, 2017.  To keep up on the CASY Food Program, receive resources and share information like the CASY Food Program Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASYFood.  See the CASY professional development calendar above for the Updated Meal  Pattern trainings schedule. Remember CASY Food Program providers must receive a minimum of 2 hours of these Updated Meal Pattern trainings. For any questions regarding this information contact the CACFP Director at extension 28 or themminghouse@casyonline.org.      

Sources: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp/meals-and-snacks



What do children do with mud? The simplest way to find out is to get some dirt, add water, and let the kids loose! It might seem like pushing the boundaries. Celebrate one of nature’s most fantastic play materials:mud!  In her article, Making a Mud Kitchen, Mary Rivkin offers a year-round solution to a child’s craving for mud. With little more than some old pots and pans, stirring spoons, and—most importantly—some dirt and water, you will be amazed at the fantastic culinary concoctions your kids will create. And sure, there might be a glorious mess, but nothing a hose can’t easily take care of!

Ready to try it? Click Here!!

Creating Solutions with Children in Mind:
Reggio Summer Institute
“How to improve the quality of education and life in our communities”
July 13-16, 2017

Register Here

Creating Outdoor Play Environments for Infants and Toddlers

As a caregiver, it's important that you provide the infants and toddlers in your care with opportunities for safe and age-appropriate outdoor play. However, determining which factors to consider when creating outdoor play environments for infants and toddlers isn't always easy. The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition (ITERS-R) lists the following as criteria for an excellent rating in outdoor play environments.


What's the Deal with Rote Practice?

Looking back on your own education, you can probably remember lessons of memorizing, copying, "drill and kill" type activities.  But our world is quickly changing.  Imagine where it will be when our young children are grown?  How can we best prepare them for what lies ahead?  The more intentional we are about encouraging students to explain their thinking, more than just memorization and rote learning, the better we'll be at preparing our students to succeed in the modern world.The Teachstone blog has 5 strategies to increase critical thinking in our classrooms, making our teaching more effective and helping our young children to take their learning to a much deeper level.To learn more click here.



Practical Tips for Exploring Science with Preschoolers

Using sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell to investigate the world around them fills children with wonder and excitement as they learn new things, which is why exploring science at an early age is so important. "Scientific thinking enables children to gain an understanding of the world in which they live. Encourage them to ask questions and use simple tools as they make comparisons," states Beth R. Davis, EdS, NBCT, in her book Hands-On Science and Math. She also shares the following practical tips for science exploration.


Preserving Children
A recipe for parents:

                            A large grassy field                                              Children
                             3 small dogs                                                          Hot Sun 
                             Deep blue sky                                                       Narrow strip of brook
                             Pebbles                                                                  Flowers
Mix children with the dogs and empty into the field; stir continuously. Sprinkle the field with flowers, pour the brook gently over the pebbles. Cover all with the deep blue sky and bake it in the hot sun. When children are done they may be removed. Best if set aside to cool in the bath tub.