The Carle Family of Central School were the lucky winners of the NOOK e-reader in our contest among those program families who registered early for Fall 2013.

All who completed their registration by May 31 received a discount on their registration fee, but Jacqueline Carle and her family are now enjoying their new NOOK for being chosen from among the nearly seventy families who re-registered their children by the “Early Bird” deadline.

These early registrations help us to plan staffing, budgeting and other issues more effectively.

Did you miss the “Early Bird” deadline?  It’s not too late to register and pay the regular registration fee.  But be sure to do it as soon as possible, so that you don’t forget and find yourself without a safe, secure, and fun place for your child after 3:00 when school starts September 4th!

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Jenna Vento, former EDKP participant and HCC HS aide, celebrates her graduation from Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Vento.

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It’s Time to Register for Fall 2013!

It may seem early, with spring barely beginning, but it’s time to think about registering your children for Haddonfield Child Care’s 2013-14 programs!

Early registration by parents helps us plan staffing and activities. That’s why we encourage spring registration by offering an early registration discount. Families registered by May 31, 2013 will pay only $50 for the first child, and $25 for each additional child. This jumps to $100 for the first child on June 1, so the savings is significant.

And this year, to sweeten the deal, all families registered before June 1 will be entered into a drawing to win a NOOK Simple Touch e-reader, valued at $79.

Registration forms are available here on the website. For questions, or additional information, please call the HCC Office at 429-1603.

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A Statement by the Haddonfield Child Care Board of Trustees

Haddonfield Child Care is committed to providing an environment that recognizes and encourages diversity in our staff and activities. Along with that commitment comes a responsibility to be sensitive to the developmental levels, maturity and ages of the children in our programs, which range from 5 to 11 years old. We strive to provide a variety of activities that respect the individual needs and parenting styles of all of the families we serve.

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EDKP Information Session

Parents interested in the Extended Day Kindergarten Program (aka EDKP) for the 2013-14 school year are invited to an information session prior to the Haddonfield School District Kindergarten Information Night, January 17, 2013.

The EDKP session will be held in the EDKP classroom, Room 14 at Central School, at 6:00 p.m.
After a brief presentation by Director Denise Sellers, parents are welcome to ask questions about the program and visit with the Program Supervisor, Rose Ellen Miller.

Information packets containing the daily schedule, curriculum, sample calendars, and other materials will be available, as well as forms needed to register.

Actual registration for the program begins at 7:30 a.m. on January 24, at the district Kindergarten Regsitration Day.

For additional information about the information session or registration, call the HCC Office at 429-1603.

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Working Parent? Need a Seamless, Full Day of Care?

EDKP kids from Tatem and Elizabeth Haddon enjoy the quick bus trip each day to or from EDKP.

Hop on the bus with us! EDKP provides midday transportation to or from half day kindergarten and the program housed at Central School. Parents never have to worry how to manage a half day kindergarten with a full time work schedule. Transportation is on a regulation school bus equipped with seat belts, and an EDKP staff member rides with the children.  No worry … and the kids love the ride!

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Looking for Something More for Your Kindergartener?

Will your child be entering kindergarten in Haddonfield in Fall 2013? Do you feel he or she will need more than just a half day of school, or do you need a full day of school and child care in order to work?

Haddonfield Child Care offers an enriching, half day program which complements the Haddonfield half day kindergarten. Your child can receive the benefits of being enrolled in the school district kindergarten program while enjoying the academic and social benefits of a full day program.

The Extended Day Kindergarten Program (EDKP), currently housed at Central School, is available to children attending either session of kindergarten at any of the three Haddonfield elementary schools. A school bus, with an HCC staff member on board, transports children to or from the Elizabeth Haddon and Tatem schools to attend EDKP. Before and/or after school care is also available.

The Extended Day Kindergarten Program encourages children to explore, experiment, create, test ideas, and expand their world. Using a thematic approach, and incorporating principles of child development including both teacher directed and child directed activities, the program is infused with current research on best practices to encourage the cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth of children. All activities are designed to promote life skills which help children develop into enthusiastic and successful lifelong learners. 

The goal of EDKP is to help the participants grow into physically and emotionally healthy individuals, who respect others, are happily engaged in learning, can work independently as well as in group settings, and are prepared for the rigors of mastering twenty first century skills.

Registration for EDKP begins at Haddonfield Kindergarten Registration Day, January 24, 2013. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so parents who definitely need the program are urged to register early in the morning to assure a space in EDKP. The necessary Registration Form and Enrollment Agreement are available on the Haddonfield Child Care and Haddonfield School District websites, and also will be available at Kindergarten Information Night. Parents may complete the forms in advance, and bring them along to Kindergarten Registration Day, where HCC will have a table. Registrations after that date must be done in person at the HCC Office, in room B105 at Haddonfield Memorial High School.

An informational meeting for interested parents will be held immediately prior to the district’s Kindergarten Information Night on January 17, 2013, at 6:00 p.m.  HCC staff will describe the program and answer frequently asked questions, and parents will have the opportunity to see the classroom and ask any additional questions.

For more information about the meeting or kindergarten registration, or regarding the EDKP in general, please call the HCC Office at 429-1603 and we will be happy to assist you.

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Learning Outside of a Classroom

It’s been quite a while since I was in a formal educational setting, but I find I am still learning something new every day. As a director of a non-profit, my eyes and ears are always open to ideas which will enhance my work, and sometimes these can come from the most unlikely places.

This week, my learning has been particularly rich and from very diverse sources.

I learned from a telephone chat with a peer in Maryland, who is preparing to retire after 30 years as director of a non-profit afterschool program.  She shared information with me about a multitude of things, from trends she is seeing in the needs of the current generation of families, to how she is preparing to leave behind a program which has been her “baby” for most of her professional life. The original purpose of the conversation was research for an article I will be writing on transitions, but in addition, I learned some things which will help me to better serve HCC families now, and will also help when the time comes for my retirement.

I also learned at a jewelry party! There, among a group of friends (many retired school teachers), I heard some of the “buzz” around town about HCC.  The women were talking about how impressed they were by activities they heard were taking place in our programs this year. They were raving about our global penpals, cooking projects, community service, and other interesting things the children are doing.  I learned from them how valuable it has been to ask our staff to share their hobbies and interests with the children this year, which led to many of these activities. I also learned that grandmothers and teachers have an interest in quality programs for children, even if they aren’t directly impacted, and they can be terrific advocates for programs they deem worthewhile!

Finally, yesterday I learned from a little boy from Philadelphia, who was waiting for his dad after our dance performance.  He and I were talking as I cleaned up, and he asked me what I meant by an “afterschool program.” I explained that it was a place where the children could go to do fun things after school while their parents were at work. He replied that he had done that for a while at his school, but all they did was play outside … he was intrigued that our HCC kids did dance, art, science, and other kinds of activities.  I learned from him that we cannot take for granted that all programs are equal, nor that they always meet the unique needs of individual children.  Though we have some children in our program who would gladly do nothing but play outside, for others, we need to stretch and sample until we find the kinds of activities which will spark their interests and talents.

This brought me to a real “aha!” moment.  We don’t need to make the school day longer for children in order for them to learn more.  We just need to make sure that they have learned to seek information and knowledge in every situation, to try new things, to explore their interests in depth, and to be thoughtful about things they see, hear and experience. 

In our program, we need to not only provide them with interesting things to do – we also need to show them how to make the most of those opportunities through observing, questioning, analyzing, internalizing and sharing what they see and hear and do. Most of what we learn comes not from textbooks or lectures, but from listening and observing and experiencing the world around us.

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Alumni Adventures in Bangkok and Bali!

Mike Miano

Mike Miano, Doctors Without Borders

Chris Lind
Chris Lind, Musician

If you have read previous posts about alumni, you already know something about Chris Lind, one of our original “HCC Kids” back in the late ’80s.


Chris recently wrote to me from the airport in Tokyo, excited to be on the first leg of a journey to connect with his HMHS friend, another HCC alum and former employee, Mike Miano.

The two young men were about to embark on a trip to Thailand and Bali.

Mike, a former corporate trade manager in New York City, is now a project coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), known to most of us as the wonderful organization, Doctors Without Borders.  Mike is currently stationed in Lashio, Myanmar, where he manages a staff of 120 delivering HIV/TB treatment in the Northern Shan State to nearly 4000 patients.  He links the characteristics of his former corporate life – dealing regularly with stress, the need to think on your feet, and a lot of people management – to his ability to handle the heavy responsibilities of MSF. Mike reports that, “Despite infuriating negotiations with local bureaucracy, regular food poisoning, and often very sad situations, I can say that this is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, it’s an adventure that benefits others.”

The friends spent two weeks touring together, exploring the music, art, and other culture of Thailand and Bali.  Chris had studied Balinese music at Skidmore College, and was excited to hear it in an authentic setting. He called me from Bali, regaling me with stories of the beautiful temples and other sights he had seen. Like any good mother/grandmother/mentor, I encouraged him to make the most of the opportunity, but warned him that, although he is well used to traveling, these were unique cultures and required some level of caution.

Little did I know that my warning would have a measure of truth. The trip, it seems,  ended on a frightening note, as I heard in a phone call from Chris’s mother, Pat O’Rourke, who was one of HCC’s founders. Just days before he was to fly home, Chris suffered his own case of food poisoning, and required hospitalization in Bangkok.  Fortunately, he recovered quickly, and was able to make his flight home, a little weak but OK.

Chris won’t have much time to rest. When he settles back in New York in early October, Chris will embark on another new adventure, becoming the manager of Replay, a new music rehearsal space in Greenwich Village. He’ll be in charge of staff and client scheduling, social media, and general maintenance of the business. He also shared the news that a song he wrote is played in the movie “8:46”, which was in the Cannes Film Festival and opened at select theaters across the country on September 4, just in time for the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, the subject of the film. If you see “8:46”, be sure to watch to the end, to see the credit for his music!  Chis will also be releasing new music on iTunes by the end of this year.

We’re so proud of Mike and Chris, and the many other HCC alumni who often call to keep us up to date on the work they are doing, or whose parents share their personal and professional accomplishments with us. Over the years, many have chosen to return to HCC to work for a time with the new crop of young participants in our programs. We hope that in some small way the positive support of their experiences at HCC … both initially as children and later as staff …has helped them to grow into such interesting and unique individuals.

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Did you know that HCC staff receive many hours of pre-service and continuing education throughout the school year? While some continuing education is required by the state in order to ensure that child care staff is up to speed on the developmental needs of children and the laws surrounding care, HCC exceeds those basic requirements in order to better prepare the staff to provide a high quality prgram fo your children.

Although many of you thought the HCC Office was closed last week for vacations, that was not the case. The staff of HCC … from supervisors to high school aides … were part of three days of pre-service staff development and preparation for the coming school year.

Several staff members spent Tuesday being re-certified in First Aid and CPR. All staff spent Wednesday and Thursday reviewing HCC and NJ Office of Licensing policies and procedures, hearing about the NJ law regarding HIB (Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying), and planning interesting and enriching activities for the upcoming year.

HCC Director Denise Sellers presented material on the Association for Childhood Education International’s “Ten Pillars of Good Childhood,” aligning the concept with the “Forty Developmental Assets” from the Search Institute which HCC already uses as an underpinning of our program curriculum. The National AfterSchool Association’s Quality Standards and Code of Ethics were reviewed and discussed as well.

On Thursday, Ms. Jennifer Grimaldi, a HPS counselor and the coordinator of the district’s HIB implementation program, discussed the NJ law and made suggestions for bullying prevention techniques and how HCC should coordinate with school personnel in these efforts.

The training days culminated with interesting and exciting presentations by each HCC staff member on activities they will plan and present to the children throughout the school year. From pen pals to poetry to puzzles, each described a “passion” of their own which could be translated into enriching activities for the children. Music and dance, fitness and games, international studies and US national parks were among the topics staff are planning to present. It promises to be a very exciting year for the children!

We hope that you will feel secure in the knowledge that HCC takes the concept of program quality very seriously, and is committed to providing a safe, enriching, and fun place for your children to be after 3!

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