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From the Director

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As we settle into March after this difficult winter, signs of spring are on the horizon! I have a few reminders and thanks yous to share with everyone!

Many Thanks

– To our parents who have been so patient with our delays and closings during this challenging winter– thank you, thank you. I have been with Gretchen’s House for 21 years and have not experienced so many weather-related concerns! Our primary goal is to care for your children so you can get to work and that is still foremost in our minds as we have had to make these hard decisions. As a licensed center we cannot operate unless we have enough staff to care for children. Thank you for your support to help us be the best we can be as we experience together the adventure that is Michigan!

– To our staff who day after day of ‘white knuckle’ driving have come in to work bringing a positive attitude to the children and families we care for at Gretchen’s House.

– To everyone who is supporting our teacher with a serious health concern. Teachers have provided their personal time and resources to plan the Spaghetti dinner, donated days off and reached out to the community for support for the silent auction. Parents have purchased tickets to the dinner and offered to help in many, many different ways. How amazing people are when they come together out of care and support.

Spring Thaw Reminder

We know how important it is to get children outside experiencing the outdoors and breathing fresh air everyday. As the snow melts, we will have a very wet and eventually very muddy playground. The reality is that we will all be dealing with wet outdoor clothes for the next few months. Taller rain boots might be more appropriate than snow boots as we make this transition. Waterproof gloves and snow pants will help delay the inevitable.

Please, please, please send in extra clothes for your child. Remember to label their articles of clothing. As teachers juggle the wardrobe changes, we can get return your items and minimize confusion if they are labeled. We will have some Gretchen’s House back up clothes available too. If your child borrows GH clothes, please be sure to return them promptly so that other children have access to these items as well.

After Hours Child Care/Babysitting

Gretchen’s House policy has always been that teachers are welcome to provide care for Gretchen’s House families after hours, off site as long as it does not interfere with their responsibilities in the classroom. If you need to contact a staff person for child care, please do not call them at the center. This interrupts the care for the children in our programs. There is a Babysitting List available in the lobby that provides contact information for teachers for after hour arrangements.

Sign In and Out

Please be sure to take the time to sign your child in and sign them out. Every classroom has a sign in and out clipboard. It is a requirement from licensing that parents sign their children in and out of the center. Clocks have been conveniently placed to make it easier for you to document the time.

This is a place where we might post important messages. At the February Parent Advisory meeting, it was requested that we post the possibility of inclement weather on the sign in and out sheet as another means of communication. In the summer, if insect repellant is used, we notify you on the sign in and out clip board as well.

Have a great week,



About Laura Griswold
Dhu Varren Director Laura Griswold has been a part of the Gretchen’s House team for almost twenty years, starting in 1992 as an I/T teacher at GH Mt. Pleasant. Laura served as the director of GH-Mt. Vernon for six years and as the director at GH-Traver for four years before opening the Dhu Varren center in October, 2003. Laura earned a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Development from Eastern Michigan University. She is a certified High/Scope trainer and also serves on the Washtenaw Community College Child Care Advisory Committee. Laura has two sons in elementary school who are GH graduates. In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, scrap booking, and spending time with her family.

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