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Important Updates and Reminders

October 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Thank you everyone who attended Curriculum Night this past week. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to join us and learn about your child’s daily experiences. I want to also thank the teachers for spending their evening here at the center and showing such dedication to the children and families in the  their classroom.

New Contracts Are Coming

It is that time again when we will be providing you with a new contract for the next year. Your current contract will be ending on December 31st. This is a great time for you to communicate any changes in care that you might need in the new year. If you need additional days, fewer days or if you care needs are changing all together, please let us know so we can provide you with accurate information.

This is also a good opportunity to update your expected time range for the 9 1/2 hours of care policy. It is important that you abide by this policy as we plan our staffing around your scheduled time so that we can always be in ratio. We want our high quality of care to be consistent throughout the day including early mornings and late afternoons.

Signing In and Out

Please be sure to sign your child in every morning and sign them out every evening. It is a licensing requirement and it is important to have this accurate documentation. Teachers do track the time you come and go on their roll call sheet, but parents are responsible for completing the official document. We certainly understand that mornings can be very busy, so teachers will plan to give gentle reminders over the next few weeks. We want to support everyone in making this part of their daily morning routine.

Fall and Halloween

We are looking ahead to plans for Halloween, and we wanted to clarify our Fall activities with all of you. As with other times of the year, we will focus on children’s interests and age-appropriate activities that promote healthy social interactions. We know some children may be hearing about Halloween from older siblings. We anticipate that they may be interested in more storytelling and books about the fall season as well as the many foods that they have helped in harvesting from their field trips and gardens at home.  We will make sure our book areas are enriched with various types of stories and incorporate more imagination storytelling and posting of those stories.

We will not organize a parade or have a “Halloween party” or celebrate Halloween in the way that you may remember from elementary school. In the past, we have incorporated costumes and parties into our plans, and we have found the activities to be inconsistent with our philosophy. The abstract concepts of Halloween are lost on many children. After they experience the event at home, then they have a more concrete idea of what Halloween is all about.

We invite your child to bring in their costume after Halloween to enhance the dramatic play that naturally happens in our room. We will not have a formal “dress-up time,” but children may show their friends their costume and use it during work time. Keep in mind that other children may want to have an opportunity to play with your child’s costume with him or her, so you should only send the costume if it can be shared during dramatic play. If you are at all concerned about not ripping the costume or getting paint on it or if the costume is too elaborate to play in, or if the costume is particularly scary, please do not send it in with your child. The children are encouraged to run, jump, climb, explore and paint while at Gretchen’s House and it can be difficult to undertake these tasks while worrying about not getting dirty or ruining a special costume. Thanks in advance for considering all of this!

Finally, because we serve many children with food allergies, we want to remind everyone not to send in candy and other treats. Thank you for your understanding and please let us know if you have any questions.



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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