In this module Making Changes To Your Environment That Makes an Impact; I can reflect back on section one where developmentally appropriate practice was highlighted on and the main focus was how learning can inspire change, However, sometime change can be hard. It s true when a child (or even and adult ) see change there are time when it take some adjustment. Some its not hard bur others it can be. I like change and with the children i sere there eye often light up when they see the child are area different than what it was the day or week before. You often see ooh and ahhh because some of the toys, learning materials and or manipulative’s have been switched out. It matters a great deal to me to keep their interest. Safety, child centered and culturally relevant materials are equally important and the organization of inviting learning areas provides a wide range of intentional learning for many age groups and keeps cahos at a minimum.

I have found that a dedicated office space is great because I have certain Teacher materials that are housed on a shelf just for me and a file cabinet where DCFS, ExcelRate, Weekly schedule and children’s files are all kept in a drawer labeled. I will soon declutter a corner in the office that is most suitable or a small round table and chair or even just two chairs where I can invite a parent to sit and chat.

The idea of an outdoor kitchen in the outside play area was inspiring to me and the use of everyday, simple products that are all natural resources was awesome. I have a wooden fence in my backyard that is feet all the way around hang a few metal baskets along the fence area each filled with different items from one week, month to the next is a great asset to any program.

Although, I have a Parent Resource Wall right when you walk into my day care I envisioned making it even more inviting by utilizing a space in that entry way to hang pictures of the children engaging in real activities and this can be changed a few times per month depending on what the theme is we are working on. As for assessment /observation this is an area that I have been really getting my feet wet in most recently and through many ExcelRate Illinois Trainings, Links in a Chain as well as Taking The Lead Cohort I have gained more insight as to how important it is to incorporate this tool within my daily practice as it is a strong platform of measurement that can be shared with ALL parents either monthly or quarterly and often a great asset when it comes to children in your care that receive intervention services.

Finally I plan on taking a leap and just getting my feet wet with the whole Technology thing and buckling down to construct a website for my business. I have done a small amount of research on it but it seemed to always end up falling by the way side. Cost was a factor before and or finding the right entity to assist with getting it up and running. Overall this was a great module and no matter if you have been in the business for a while or a new comer there is still opportunity to learn and grow!

Thank you,

Kimberly M. Pickens
First Steps Child Care