Math at Home is an online professional development site with resources and information about engaging young children in conceptual math activities.

“Math at Home builds the knowledge and skills of home care providers, teachers, and parents to help them:

Check out all the resources at the M.A.T.H.:  Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers website.

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Are you thinking about using the FCCERS-R in your family child care home?  This tip sheet from the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership defines some of the terms used and gives helpful suggestions for preparing your environment.

FCCERS-R-Tip Sheet

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This space is used for a gathering area for the kids (or a fort/playhouse).

I went to Menards to look for ways to create a natural play house (since I gave away my two plastic little tykes houses). I originally planned to do an arch hut that I saw on Pinterest using a garden arch but when I saw the prices, I just kept walking. I then came up with the idea of using garden trellis, stakes and bamboo fencing. The garden trellis was an accordion type (pictured below), so it can expand to whatever size you want. I already had the rubber pavers, so decided to make it around those and that’s how I determined my size.

Step 1: Hammer the stakes into the ground. (I purchased 4 foot stakes with the rubber coating so they wouldn’t rust). If your sides are long, you would need a stake for each corner and then a stake for each wall for support.

Step 2: Zip tie the accordion fence to the stakes

Step 3: Zip tie bamboo fence on three sides of the structure.

Step 4: Trim off excess bamboo to the height you want the structure to be.

Step 5: Place garden stakes on top to support the bamboo roof. Make sure to measure the width of your structure to know what size stakes to get. I rested them on top of the accordion fence and zip tied them in place.

Step 6: Lay the bamboo fence on top and zip tie it down.

Tip: Measure your space first so you have an idea of how many materials you will need.

Tip: You will need a lot of zip ties to make it sturdy. I purchased natural colored zip tie.

Tip: I did purchase an outdoor rug to place on top of the rubber pavers. This gave them a little bit cozier area and makes it easier to sweep rocks off of.

This checklist can be a helpful starting point for self-assessing quality in your environment and making a plan for improvement.  The checklist is based on the NAFCC Accreditation Observation Checklist.  For more information on creating a high quality environment check out the module: Creating a Child-Centered and Multi-Age Space on the Grow page under the Town Square Modules tab.

Environment Checklist Town Square Handout

This rating scale is used to help you create an environment that supports the development of young children in your program. It is also required to obtain credentials and quality ratings. If you are interested in purchasing the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale developed by the University of North Carolina, you can find it here:

Rating Scale revised edition

This article from Child Care Information Exchange has great ideas and advice for designing your family child care home environment in creative and practical ways.  This is a great resource for a provider who is just starting out, or for someone who wants to rearrange or reevaluate their existing FCC environment.

Designing the Family Child Care Environment by Hazel Osborn