Another year is behind us and what a year it was. At the center we saw considerable change and growth – the expansion of our program with the addition of a new preschool classroom, the Constructivists; staff changes that included adding a full-time center floater (Gina) and a full-time assistant director (Betty). Our changes provided the opportunity to add some new early educators to the mix and to offer leadership roles, as mentors, to many of our exceptional teachers.
We reinvented our roof-top play space with new materials, and a new attitude, and were recognized for our efforts with the 2016 Exemplary Outdoor Classroom Award from the Southern Early Childhood Association. I am honored to accept the award on the center’s behalf in Tulsa, OK in February.
As we move into the New Year, expect to see continued fine-tuning of our outstanding program. We are giving the back three rooms a facelift with new flooring (can I get an AMEN?); this project will take time but we hope to begin as early as January. Removing dated and stained carpet and tile and adding vinyl plank flooring to match the infant and young toddler rooms will offer space planning flexibility as well as a fresh and clean look.
Additionally, we have put aside a little money to spruce up the infant program. We plan to add new materials as well as to provide some top-notch training for our caregiving team. We are exploring professional development opportunities with the renowned organization, RIE: Resources for Infant Educarers.
Danielle returns from maternity leave mid-January and that offers us the chance to grow our preschool even more. It looks like we will have two spots for 3, 4 or 5 year olds in case you know somebody in the market. That will max us out with space for 88 beautiful children in this building. We continue, however, to explore partnerships in the downtown community with the hope of starting a couple of infant and toddler satellite programs (small group care settings with up to 24 little ones). With business booming downtown, we hope to help create additional high quality child care spots.
Expect to see us launch our very own website in the first quarter of 2016 and, in the Fall, to develop Study Tours for early childhood educators interested in studying the unique learning processes within our program. We are excited about growing deeper and stronger in our practice, our relationships, and in the early childhood community.
Blessings for a wonderful New Year,
Cindy Lea Ligon