January 2016

From your Director:

Happy 2016, everyone!  I hope your year is off to a good start.

I was just reading an article called Kindergarten is the New First Grade. (Click on the title if you’re interested.)  It talks about some of the changes that have taken place in kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010:  changes such as less time spent in self-directed, creative play; less time for art and music; more testing; increased expectations that children need preparation for kindergarten and that they will be reading by the end of kindergarten.  

When I hear about these changes, I always feel a little nervous.  It makes me wonder how long it will be before we feel increased pressure to make those changes in early childhood classrooms, as well.  The fact that you have chosen First English for your children tells me that you have faith in play-based learning, so I’ll try not to get too defensive about it in talking to you.  While there is plenty of research supporting our style of learning (http://www.naeyc.org/play), the best evidence to me is the stories we hear from parents of First English graduates about how successful they are in kindergarten and beyond.  I hope that, if the trend continues to take the fun and creativity out of early learning, you will share your experiences with others and let them know that children don’t need to be forced to learn.  They want to learn.  All we have to do is provide the materials and serve as their guides.

Thanks for trusting us with your children.


Mark Your Calendars:

  • Monday, Feb. 15th: Closed for Staff Training Day
  • Friday, March 18th: Closed for Staff Work Day
  • Friday, March 25th:  Center Holiday

Supply fee reminder:

The second half of the supply fee will be charged at the beginning of February.  The amount is $125, and it is due by the end of February.  This fee helps us purchase all those fun finger paints, markers, paper, etc.  You can add the amount to your February tuition or write a separate check later in the month if that works better for you.

Button Batteries:

One of our parents recently called my attention to the danger of button batteries, those little round batteries you find in things like fake candles and watches.  If you would like to read more about them, here is a recent story:  http://keyetv.com/news/nation-world/button-battery-kills-oklahoma-2-year-old-days-after-christmas

Companion Cafe:  

Weekly dinners in the Fellowship Hall are back on!  If you happen to be picking up close to 6pm on a Wednesday and need a dinner plan, consider stopping by the Fellowship Hall for a tasty, inexpensive meal.  You are welcome to sit down and eat or take some food to go. You can find the menu for the week and more information by looking on the First English Lutheran Church website: http://www.felcaustin.org/ministries/cafe

Tax Statements:  I just sent out statements from Quickbooks showing your child care expenses for 2015. (Look for the statement from January 21st).  If you need our tax ID, it is on the statement in small print.  Here it is again: 74-119-83006.  If you did not receive your statement or need anything else, please let me know.

We'd love to have your review on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/first-english-lutheran-child-development-center-austin?utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)