The newsletter ofChild Care Options Resource & Referral ProgramFor Delta, Surrey and White RockYour communities’ BEST source of child care information & resourcesWinter 2014"I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive."Albert Einstein

Happy 2014! We wish you all a wonderful year!As always, we start off our year with our annual conference, Children the Heart of the Matter, which isbeing held Feb 7th and 8th. We have more than 500 participants registered for this event and it’s nottoo late to register for the Friday evening if you haven’t already. We are pleased to have Dr. TinaBryson as our Friday evening keynote speaker and Lisa Murphy, a.k.a. The Ooey Gooey Lady, as ourSaturday morning keynote.Options Community Services and Child Care Options have launched new websites recently. Hopefullyyou have already had a chance to check out our new website; we have made a lot of improvements tomake it more user-friendly. One new feature of the site is that families can get lists of child programsdirectly from our website. We are still doing enhanced referrals from the Child Care Pro database inoffice, but have noticed an increase in families looking for information online who want an immediateresponse to their search. Let us know what you think about the changes - we would love to hear yourthoughts.We want to say a heartfelt goodbye to Mary Peirce Biagi who is leaving Child Care Options after 13years to manage the new Bridgeview Child Care Centre that is being operated as a partnership between the City of Surrey and Options Community Services. We wish her all the best!! Daljit Sahotafrom our reception services area will also be taking a temporary leave from Child Care Options to joinMary as an ECE Assistant at the child care centre.With both of these staff moving you will see some changes and new faces at Child Care Options in thecoming months. Angela Garcha, our store coordinator currently in reception services will be transferring to Mary’s outreach position. We are working on filling the two vacant reception positions asquickly as possible.Although spring seems far away it will be here before you know it, so save the date for our Child CareProvider Appreciation evening on May 26th. If you have not attended in the past we hope you willcome out this year for a night of recognition and fun.Happy Reading! - cuddle up and enjoy this newsletter. We hope you are inspired by the library resources - read on!!Ruth Beardsley and Sharlene WedelSave the date!Child Care Provider Appreciation eveningMay 26Watch our website for more details!Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 2

Looking forprofessionaldevelopmentopportunities?Our WinterTrainingcalendar ispacked withexciting andinformativeworkshops andcourses!Visit our websitefor all thedetails!childcareoptions.caUpcoming SalesFebruary25% Off“LearningResources”toys & gamesMarch25% off“Melissa &Doug” WoodenvehiclesApril25% offPlastic animalsMay30% off1 item forChild CareMonth#100-6846 King George Boulevard, Surrey, BCProject NightsBring your felt stories, big books, folder games or whatever project you’re working on for your childcare setting, or get started on something new while you’re here! We’ll have the laminator, book binder,die-cuts and big books to copy all set up for you to use and we’ll be glad to share some patterns andideas as well.Project nights are held from 5:30-7:30 pm on the following Thursday evenings:February 20March 20April 17May 15June 19July 17August 21This is a free event other than any laminating, copying, or supplies you may purchase while you’re here.Did you know As of December 31, 2013 on our database:Number of library subscribers: 284Number of RLNRs: 70Number of LFCC: 190Number of IHMA: 56Number of Group 3‐5 years: 44Number of Infant/Toddler: 15Number of Preschool: 80 (plus 75 in multiplelicense)Number of Out of School: 42 (plus 95 in mul‐tiple license)Number of Multiple license: 125Number of Multi‐age: 83October 1 to December 31, 2013:Number of library items borrowed: 1815Number of families assisted with child caresubsidy: 523Number of families assisted with child carereferrals: 385Number of attendees at training: 535Winter 2014Training updateWe’ve added two more training courses to our currentschedule.20 Hour Responsible Adult in Child Care Settings Course4 weeks, Fridays, March 21, 28, April 4 & 11 from 9:30 am to3:00 pmCost: 180.00Good Beginnings Professional Development for Family ChildCare Providers (Punjabi, Hindi & Urdu)9 weeks, Fridays, April 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6, 13 & 20from 9:30 am to 12:30 pmCost: 400.00For more information or to register call ons.caPage 3

Opal SchoolOf the Portland Children’s MuseumLast November Nina, Gisele and I were fortunate to attend a two-day workshop presented by teachers of OpalSchool of the Portland Children’s Museum. Having heard of the school and accessed some of their resources, wewere keen to learn their story. How may children’s schools do you know of that are housed in a museum? Here’s abrief history . . .The Portland Children’s Museum opened in 1946 and in the 1970’s shifted the focus from visual displays and art andcraft classes to more hands-on and experience-based learning. A move to a larger setting in 2001 included spacefor the Opal Charter Public School (K-5) and private preschool (Opal Beginning School) for children age 3-5. Overtime, the museum and school have become a place for parents and teachers to learn alongside the children.“Opal School serves as a resource for teacherresearch by supporting and provoking freshthinking about learning environments thatinspire playful inquiry, creativity, imaginationand the wonder of learning in children andadults.”. . . Museum websiteThe Museum Center for Learning is the adult learning component.It is a place of research—to study how children learn and developstrategies to support and strengthen learning. The Center hostsmany professional develop opportunities including workshops, online study, summer symposiums, Opal School visitations, mentorships, and teacher apprenticeships. The Center has produced a variety of educational materials, some of which are available at nocost. Visit the Portland Children’s Museum website to learn moreand be inspired! can borrow these Center resources from our Early Childhood Resource Library:From the Museum Center for Learning.Originally two videos, now two 10-minutesegments on one DVD:Environments to Support Playful Inquiryhighlights the importance of designing environments that support children to wonder,imagine, interpret and reflect upon ideasand projects in playful, creative ways.The Wonder of Intelligent Materials presents possibilities for materials andorganization to inspire children and adultsto tinker, create, and invent.What About Play?The Value of Investingin Children’s PlayBy Susan Harris MacKay,from Opal School.Susan discusses thevalue of play and howcommunities can support play-based learningopportunities.Book with DVD.So what about that workshop we attended? Our presenters (Opal School teachers Susan MacKay and Kerry Salazar) and Opal School Founding Director Judy Graves described how the school’s philosophy developed over time.They have been inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia but were very clear that what has evolved is very muchspecific to Opal School. As stated on Opal’s Beginning School web page, “We are inspired by the early childhoodschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy; built on inquiry-based learning strategies; and influenced by a strong image of children as intelligent, creative, and resourceful.” Following are some key concepts from the Opal School workshopdescribing their own approach to inquiry-based learning.Inquiry-Based LearningThrough the Languages of the Arts & SciencesInquiry-based learning as defined by Opal School is “a learning approach in which a ‘provocateur’ presents a question, scenario, or a problem to individuals or groups. The group or individual identifies issues, poses questions andresearches possibilities to make meaning, develop understanding, increase proficiency, create knowledge and uncover solutions or possibilities.”Common Elements of InquiryLearning is provoked by a question, issue, or problem. Children make discoveries through active hands-on, mindson engagement. Adults facilitate the processes and offer needed and/or requested resources. Students interpretand make meaning of their experiences.Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 4

Inquiry-Based Learning continued . . .Language often associated with inquiry-based learning at Opal SchoolProvocationA question/problem/scenario designed to provoke thinking andcommunication in ways that reveal connections and relationships. Can be offered through words, materials, environments,mentor texts. (this photo is a sample at ECR Library—drop in tosee the rest of it)ProvocateurThe protagonist (or person) who poses questions/problems/scenarios and offers ideas/actions.SchemaWhat you know based on your life experiences, identity, background, age, culture, education and more.Science TalkA conversation about how something might work that is open to ideas, questions, theories, connections, relationships, comments, debates and wonderings without the need to find the “right” answer or draw predetermined conclusions.The Ball TossActive exchange (serve and return) between two or more protagonists.“We must catch the ball the children throw to us and return it to them in ways that makesthem want to continue playing the game, perhaps reinventing the game as they go along”- Loris Malaguzzi, early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, ItalyThree Possible Approaches to Inquiry:Structured, Guided, and Open InquiryStructured InquiryPROCESSIndividuals or groups are provided with a scenario or problem and the research procedures to follow. Outcomesare established by the provocateur in advance. Assessment is based on the individuals finding viable answers, solutions, or results that are supported by the inquiry procedure provided.PURPOSETo introduce or practice a skill or ability. To experience a specific process, procedure, or method. To practice aspecific skill or gain knowledge about specific content. To produce a known product.ROLES OF THE TEACHERProvides the problem, scenario or inquiry question; provides a procedure to follow; clarifies expectations; decidesif students work in groups or alone; models specific skills or procedures; provides examples; determines how thestudents will share their results; evaluates results using assessments such as rubrics, criterion-based assessments,points or A grading system.ROLE OF THE STUDENTFollow teacher instructions.SUMMARYThis approach to inquiry is primarily determined and controlled by the teacher who does the preparation, planningand design. The teacher is the provocateur. The students are the doers who follow the teacher instructions to thebest of their abilities.Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 5

Inquiry-Based Learning continued . . .Guided InquiryPROCESSSmall groups are provided with a scenario, problem, or question and an end-product, solution, or goal to achieve.However, each group designs its own inquiry processes and procedures, materials and resources, data collection,and interpretation, and method of sharing results. Assessment is based on the quality, efficiency and usefulness ofthe research process selected, the viability of the interpretation, the clarity of the presentation to the larger groupand the ability of the group to address the inquiry questions/problem/scenario.PURPOSETo seek information about the known world. To provide experience in working with a small group to investigatea topic. To try out different ways of designing an inquiry. To practice selecting materials and resources to strengthen the inquiry. To collaborate with peers to find viable approaches, solutions, or products that address the inquiryquestions.ROLES OF THE TEACHERProvide topic of the investigation (problem/scenarios/research questions). Clarify expectations: end goal/product/result. Provide resources including different approaches for designing an investigation, ways of collecting and presenting data. Model dialogue skills for constructive participation as a group member. Provoke thinking by askingreflective questions, making contradictions and paradoxes visible throughout the inquiry. Evaluate the quality ofthe work according to pre-determined criteria.ROLES OF THE STUDENTSWork with peers to select or design an inquiry process using collaboration skills. Identify resources and materialsneeded. Use class members and parents (children & adults) as resources. Interpret findings. Present the investigation results to larger group using a self-selected process.SUMMARYTeacher provides the provocation and the end goal. Students take control of the inquiry process with the teacheras provocateur, facilitator and guide.Open InquiryPROCESSA group of people (children and adults) pose their own questions, design their investigation and determine ways ofcommunicating their emerging processes and new discoveries to themselves and others. The inquiry is emergentin that one possibility uncovers another in ways that influence next steps. No one knows where the inquiry mightlead.PURPOSETo wonder about a topic, question, or problem that doesn’t have ready answers or solutions. To experience thepower and influence of uncertainty. To stay open to multiple possibilities. To explore possible worlds. To supportthe in-depth investigation of a topic in ways that inspire and encourage the use of creative thinking, imaginationand innovation. To support a playful, joyful approach to learning. To use reflection as a process for making meaning, finding connections and uncovering new ideas. To provide the support necessary for long-term project-basedlearning. Assessment is a process of documentation that takes place thoughout the inquiry to make visible thethinking and interpretations of the group. Documentation reveals the quality of the conversations, the creative andinnovative use of language, the imaginative use of materials to explain ideas, and the processes the group used tocover ideas.ROLES OF CHILDREN AND ADULTSIn the process of open inquiry the adults and children are co-researchers around a topic selected by the students,the teacher, or both. The teacher works alongside the children, not in front leading or behind following. The rolesof each are not always distinct and often overlap. The metaphor of the “ball toss” is in play. Dialogue and reflectionare processes used to uncover possible directions that the inquiry may go. Each member (adults and children)brings experiences and ideas to the group for consideration. Adults such as teachers, school staff and parents provide resources, materials, tools, and equipment as needed. The groups documents its experiences as a way to support reflection and wondering. The investigation finds closure by communicating the journey and discoveries toothers. The ending may provide a beginning for another topic of investigation.Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 6

Inquiry-Based Learning continued . . .Common Strategies that Support Open InquirySCIENCE TALKS: wondering together about a fascinating question. Theory creation without a predetermined expectation or answer.DIALOGUE GROUPS: Thinking together using the skills of listening, connecting, questioning, reflecting, inferringand making assumptions viable.USE OF MATERIALS, VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS to generate images that help ideas come alive and deepenmeaning.COLLABORATION among students, teachers, parents, and staff to share ideas, hypothesis, expertise, resources, lifestories, experiences and wonderings.DOCUMENTATION: To capture the learning processes and thinking of individuals and groups as the work progresses through transcriptions of conversations, photos, video, work samples, data collection or products studentscreate. To use this record as a basis for reflection, decision-making, and next steps. To make visible the learning tostudents, parents, and the public. . . Excerpts from a document written and compiled by Judy Graves,Founding Director, Opal School of the Portland Children’s MuseumIn an attempt to conserve space, I did not include the story examples provided in Judy’s original document. If youwould like a copy of the full text, please email the library and we’ll send it to you: [email protected] I alsocan’t share with you the wonderful video segments we saw during the workshop, which really brought it to life forus. We were captivated at seeing three years olds working so well together to solve a problem, sharing their ideasand supporting one another’s work. They were completely engaged in what they were doing.If you get a chance, visit the Portland Children’s Museum, and see if you can arrange to visit Opal School as well. Ifnothing else, make sure to check out the website for inspiration, resources, and to subscribe to the Opal Schoolblog: Elizabeth KimuraAre you interested in finding out more about inquiry-based learning? These books are available to subscribers of the Early Childhood Resource Library!Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 7

Inspiration The librarians here at Child Care Options are a very resourceful group. They are avid nature collectors, bits and pieces recyclers, dollar store sleuths, masters of craigslist, decorators at heart and even “pick up off the side of the road”lovers. They work very hard for all of you to make our library a warm and inviting space whenever you visit. They arecontinuously creating invitations and transforming the space so you’ll be inspired to take back some great ideas toyour centers. If you haven’t been in lately here are a few photos of what you’ve been missing. But honestly the photos don’t tell the whole story. Be sure to drop by the library soon to see what new ideas you can learn from them!Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 8

Save the date!We’re partnering with BC Family ChildCare Association for their annualconference. The conference will beheld on Saturday, May 31 at Child CareOptions! Stay tuned for more details!IMPORTANT: Cheque Overpayment FraudChild care providers have been approached by an individualattempting to fraudulently obtain funds through a scamcalled “Cheque Overpayment Fraud” where a potential client will advise a child care provider they wish to secure achild care space and will forward a cheque greater than theamount required to secure their space. They will then contact the child care provider asking them to forward them acheque for the overpaid amount.Caregivers should never agree to a transaction in which apotential client wishes to issue a cheque in an amountgreater than the contract requires. For information on“Cheque Overpayment Fraud” please see the Governmentof Canada Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at lish/recognizeit advfeefraudover.htmlFor more information on current frauds, of if you have beena victim of a Cheque Overpayment Fraud, please contactthe Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501.Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 9

2013 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in EarlyChildhood EducationThe Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education honour outstanding educators who,through their dedication and skill, are giving children animportant head start that helps them succeed at school.Congratulations to Christine MacLeod of Wee Kids FamilyDaycare in Delta for receiving a Certificate of Achievement.To view all of this year’s awards recipients visit g/homeChange in Child Care Licensing RegulationsThere have been recent amendments in the licensingregulations regarding reportable incidents.The definition of “choking” has been amended to requirefacilities to report incidents of choking where first aid practices were administered (such as the Heimlich maneuver).To read about the changes and how they affect your childcare facility please access the information at eporting2013.pdf2013 BC Child Poverty Report CardThe latest figures from Statistics Canada (2011) show thatBC is the worst province in Canada when it comes to majormeasures of child poverty. View the report at: national report card can be found at 13C2000NATIONALREPORTCARDNOV26.pdfGo to page 14 for the child care section.BC Family Child Care Association’s2014 Record Keeping Calendar forChild Care Professionals is now available Order your copy today—order forms areavailable at www.bcfcca.caWinter 2014Newly Diagnosed Support CentreThis site from Anaphylaxis Canada is for parents ofchildren recently diagnosed with a food allergy.View the site at: New Information Sheets for Parents fromthe Centre of Excellence for Early ChildhoodDevelopmentAnxiety and Depression: Recognizing the s/PDF/Anxiety-depression ANGmcP.pdfEating Behaviour: A Recipe for Healthy s/PDF/Eating behaviourANGmcP.pdfFocusing on nutrition & fitnessFamily child care trackingsheets for your business(attendance, expense pages,yearly summary page)BCFCCA Members: 20.00Non-members: 25.00Slow Down Kids PlayingBCAA is offering free "Slow Down, Kids Playing"signs at all of their service locations. The signs,which can be displayed on residential properties,are a reminder to drivers to pay close attention totheir surroundings when driving through areaswhere kids are likely to be present. Details ng it Safe: FragrancesThe Canadian Partnership for Children's Health andEnvironment has a new fact sheet, Playing it safe:Fragrances. This fact sheet outlines the potentialharm associated with fragrance chemicals and suggests ways to reduce exposure, especially for children. View the fact sheet FactsFragrancesEN.pdfchildcareoptions.caPage 10

Dealing with Baby Gap SyndromeBy Lisa Murphy, The Ooey Goody Lady Lisa is the keynote speaker on Saturday, February 8th at our Children the Heart of the Matter Conference.Lisa will also be offering a workshop for us on Thursday, February 6.See our website for more details or to register call 604-572-8032.Don’t you wish you had a dollar for every time you havesaid, “Please send your child to school in clothes you don’tcare about!” We can encourage, demand, threaten, bribe,write notes home, scream, post signs and tell parents untilwe are blue in the face about the importance of wearing“play clothes” to school, but to no avail! It is frustrating tofeel like our words are ignored, and even more so when,after all our efforts and insistence, the children still come toschool suffering from what I call, “baby gap syndrome”.And it affects the children the worst – over the years I haveseen children cry because they got a little bit of paint ontheir shirt, have witnessed emotional breakdowns on theplay yard because mud was on the new sneakers, had children tell me to throw their “dirty shirt” away so mama won’tget mad and have had children bound into school announcing that they aren’t allowed to paint anymore because it “ruins my clothes”. I have seen children proudlydrag their parents out onto the yard to show off the treeforts, castles and mud houses they spent all day buildingand creating, designing and painting only to be asked, “Whyare you so dirty?”, or be told, with a heavy sign, “Oh no there’s paint on your new shirt!”Educators and providers need to be able to verbalize whycreative art and other kinds of messy play is important andbe able to identify for the parents the skills that are beingdeveloped as the children are engaged in these experiences. Remember that the parents aren’t there during the dayto see the creativity, cooperation and process first hand; allthey might see is the red paint in the hair and the glue onthe jeans.At our schoolhouse the children are not made to wearsmocks. We use washable paint for all projects and, at orientation, parents are informed of the high level of creativitywe encourage at our school and as such, are required tohave lots and lots of extra clothes in their child’s cubby.Knowing that having lots of extras can be taxing for somefamilies, there is also a big tub of clothes I have accumulated over the years at garage sales and consignment shopsthat children can “borrow” if they run out of extras.Through parent workshops, parent meetings, articles abouthands-on, creative messy play, a back to school orientationand well-written contracts and parent handbooks, you canbegin to battle baby gap syndrome. 2002 Ooey Gooey, Inc. Reprinted with permission fromWhat kinds of messages are being sent to the children when www.ooeygooey.comthere is so much emphasis on their clothes and shoes? Canthe shirt really be more important than the opportunity toengage in a new creative experience? If it is, then it is a shirtthat does not belong in preschool. I actually had a childcome to school once wearing a green, crushed silk, flowergirl dress and her tap shoes! Like you, I have really struggled with this over the years.What are we to do?We tell our families, “Send them in clothes you don’t careabout!” and then I show a slide show of the children “in action” and they immediately understand why! I met a directorwho tells parents, “If your child doesn’t get dirty at school,then we aren’t doing our job!.” Another friend who providesfamily child care tells all her new clients, “I guarantee I willruin their clothes!” And a colleague who teaches preschooltells her families, ”If you want the children to be able towear it in public again, don’t send it here!” The reason I liketo show parents the slide show is so that they can then seefor themselves what the children are doing. They can witness the creative process first hand! I have discovered thatparents sometimes have a misconception that their childrenare getting dirty because teachers are not paying attention.Slide shows, short video clips and photographs are tools foreducating the parents not only on the creative process, butalso of your involvement and investment in the activity aswell.Winter 2014childcareoptions.caPage 11

Child Care Phone Skills to Increase Your EnrollmentsBy Kris Murray, Child Care Marketing CoachThese possible scenarios are all very pertinent pieces to thepuzzle of why your client is interested in your services, andby giving the opening of “ what prompted you to call ustoday?” you can respond appropriately. You will be havinga very different conversation if she is switching from a comSkilled telephone contact, following a simple method prac- petitor than if she is moving to town. You want to be atrusted advisor. Knowing what prompted her to call is theticed in advance, will greatly enhance your child care enrollment success. Consider, what happens to your carefully best place to start to glean what her story is.crafted marketing plan when your phone rings? It is all forIf she’s not giving you what you need, you can say, “Couldnaught if your staff is so poorly trained or overwhelmedyou tell me a little bit more about that?” You are probingthat the most vital things are not being said when thewith friendly customer service-oriented questions. You arephone rings.not being nosy; you are doing your best to build rapport.3 questions will help to successfully start each phoneMost child care facilities are not answering the phone withcall.this simple 3-question sequence that will give you the keyinformation and the opportunity to build rapport and book1. Immediately ask each prospect: May I have your name,a tour. 99% of centers give their rates right away, no tour isplease? Almost nobody does this when they haven’t beenproperly trained. People love to hear the sound of their own booked and the client is off the line without leaving contactname; it’s human nature. Even when the caller jumps in and information; OR they launch into a spiel about the curricuasks you questions, it is possible to get this key piece of in- lum, giving information that the prospect is not interestedin at the moment. Neither of these conversations buildsformation.rapport or secures enrollments.Here’s an example:ABC (Director): Thanks for calling ABC Childcare Center, Far more tours get scheduled, leading to enrollment sucthis is Kris. Let me be the first to welcome you to ABC! (With cess, when this sequence of questions is followed. Trainyour staff to follow this valuable 1-2-3 script and see yourwarm enthusiasm!)own centers book more tours!Prospect: I just want to know your rates for toddlers.ABC: I can help you with that. May I have your name,Your “Success Assignment”: Practice this 3-step openingplease?for every prospect phone call. Role-play with yourProspect: My name is Sophie.staff. Practice "sprinkling" the prospect's and child's nameinto the conversation to build rapport and trust. Gain conDefer the rate question until you get the name. You are infidence asking for the phone number, as if it were comcontrol. From that point forward, you should be using thepletely natural and routine. WATCH your level of toursname interspersed in each of your questions or answers.grow!This builds trust and rapport.The phone is often the first live contact you have with prospective parents. You spend most your child care marketingdollars to make the phone ring, so get the most out of eachcall.2. Immediately after she (or he) gives you the name, ask forher phone number. Here’s how that works:ABC: Thanks for calling us, (Sophie). What’s your phonenumber in case we get disconnected?Used with permission from Chil

craft classes to more hands-on and experience-based learning. A move to a larger setting in 2001 included space for the Opal Charter Public School (K-5) and private preschool (Opal Beginning School) for children age 3-5. Over time, the museum and school have become a place