Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Read Early... Read Often

Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Read together every day

Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close.

Give everything a name

Build your child's vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects. For example, "Look at that airplane! Those are the wings of the plane. Why do you think they are called wings?"

Say how much you enjoy reading

Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.

Read with fun in your voice

Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices. Ham it up!

Know when to stop

Put the book away for awhile if your child loses interest or is having trouble paying attention.

Be interactive

Discuss what's happening in the book, point out things on the page, and ask questions.

Read it again and again

Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!

Talk about writing, too

Mention to your child how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.

Point out print everywhere

Talk about the written words you see in the world around you. Ask your child to find a new word on each outing.

Get your child evaluated

Please be sure to see your child's pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about your child's language development, hearing, or sight.

Source: Reading Rockets, "Reading Tips for Parents of Kindergartners," PBS, www.readingrockets.org/article/7834.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Easy ways for you and your child to spend more time together

When you spend time with your child, he knows that both he and his suc­cess in school and in life are among the most important things to you. As much as your child might beg for a new toy or the latest blinking game with sound effects, what he wants most is to spend time together. Here are some ideas for spending time with him:

·         Turn ordinary tasks into together time. Thirty minutes of playing on the floor with your child is wonderful. Taking him along on your Saturday afternoon errands and talking with him for the whole time is just as effective.

·         Eat meals together as often as possible. Research shows that more family bonding happens around the kitchen table than anywhere else. Ask your child what he did in school that day.

·         Exercise together. Move with your child daily. Use this time to talk about your child’s favorite books.

·         Engage in your child’s interests. If he likes soccer or T-ball, kick or toss the ball around together outside. If he likes dinosaurs, check out a dinosaur book from the library and read it together. Occasionally, snuggle up together to watch a movie or an educational TV show.  Make connec­tions to what your child is learning.

      Source: T.R. Lee, “How to Spend Quality Time with Your Child,” College of Education and Human Services, Utah State University
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Child Care in Alexander County-Get the Facts!

Did you know that....
     approximately 1,621 children under six in the county live in families where their sole parent or both parents are working? The need for child care is critical to the economic viability of these families.
     the county received and spent $1,013,577 (not including Smart Start funding) to help parents pay for child care in fiscal year 2010-11? In December 2011, the county served 266 different children with child care subsidy and had 0 eligible children on the waiting list for subsidy.
     Alexander County has 26 licensed child care programs? Of these, 18 are centers and 8 are family child care homes. Of all the licensed programs in the county, 28% of centers and 38% of homes have a 4 or 5 star rating. These businesses employ 138 people directly, and also contribute to the economy through purchases of goods and services provided by other businesses in their communities and state.
     there are 579 birth to five year old and 308 school-age children currently enrolled in these child care programs.
     among birth to five year old children enrolled in centers in Alexander County, 75% are in 4 or 5 star licensed centers. Among birth to five year old children enrolled in homes in Alexander County, 33% are in 4-5 star licensed homes.
     13 teachers, directors and family child care providers living in Alexander County participated in the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project in fiscal year 2010-2011 with 8 child care programs supporting their employees returning to school through this scholarship program?
     using federal guidelines for setting subsidy payment rates and data from a 2010-2011 market rate study, the 4-star center market rate for two year olds in Alexander County is $616 per month?
     most families in Alexander County cannot afford the full cost of child care? Low-income families and families with more than one child have to pay a high percentage of their income for care. A single mother with one child earning $34,668 or less per year can receive child care subsidy as funds are available. If funds are unavailable or if this parent’s earnings exceed the income eligibility limit, a parent would pay 21% of her gross income (see chart) for child care offered at the county rate. Little is left in the family’s budget for food, medical, clothing, travel or other basic living expenses. Due to the high cost of child care, parents such often make difficult choices. Some maybe forced to seek TANF. Others may seek cheaper, often inadequate child care or leave their children unattended.
© 2012 Child Care Services Association. Figures derived using the most recent available data from Child Care Services Association, Internal Revenue Service, N.C. Budget and Tax Center, N.C. Division of Child Development, N.C. Division of Social Services,
N.C. State Data Center and U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Public Instruction.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Partnership Hosted 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Event

The Alexander County Partnership for Children hosted 26 families and 38 children at their 2nd Annual Gingerbread Making Party!  On Saturday, December 1st and Thursday, December 6th from 10am-12pm the Alexander County Partnership for Children welcomed families of children five and under to join in a the seasonal tradition of Gingerbread House-Making at their office. To look for future events like this one you can follow us on Facebook or get updates at our blog  

Alexander County Partnership for Children is a United Way organization and funded with NC Smart Start funding.