What Pet Should You Get?

You may have heard the big news: A newly discovered Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I get? is going to be released this summer.  So, what pet should you get for your classroom?



Pets in Child Care

Having a pet in the daycare or preschool classroom can be an educational as well as a fun experience. An animal friend in the classroom can help children learn compassion, responsibility, and many scientific concepts. Here are some guidelines for making this a positive experience.

Questions to Ask

  • Do you want to have a pet the children can pick up and handle?
  • How much are you willing to spend on the care of this pet?
  • Who will be involved in its care and feeding?
  • What will you do if the animal gets sick?
  • Who will care for it over long holiday weekends?

Learn More About the Pet

It is extremely important to research different types of pets to find out what would be the best fit for your classroom. Below are some links to get you started on your research.

Welcoming a Pet

  • Demonstrate How to Handle an Animal. – Children can learn how to be gentle through direct instruction and role modeling. Explain that animals can feel pain.
  • Show How Animals Need Respect. – Like children, the pet will need quiet times and play times. Sometimes they will need to leave the animal alone. Explain how the pet has many of the same basic survival needs as they do. Allow them to participate in basic care such as feeding or changing bedding for the pet.

Heath and Safety Issues

These guidelines are not to take the place of your state’s or locality’s child care regulations and laws. They are just general tips for protecting the health and safety of the children.

  • Be sure the pet is in good health, shows no evidence of disease, and is friendly toward children.
  • Keep the animal’s cage, bed or nest clean at all times. All pet waste should be disposed of immediately.
  • Only allow children to handle the pet when you can supervise them.
  • Show children safe behavior. They need to learn not to tease or harass the pet.
  • Be sure to alert parents before they enroll their child in your class. Some children have allergies or fears of that animal.
  • Everyone must wash their hands after handling pets or pet items.

© 2004 Joni Levine

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Child Care Lounge Membership Club

gAnnouncing the Child Care Lounge Elite Membership Club! We will continue to have oodles of free resources and ideas on our website. This is a benefit for those who want even more! Plus the convenience of having it all in one place at your fingertips!

Receive the monthly e-magazine that includes :
and more!

Click here to learn more about the membership levels and other benefits!

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Grants for Childhood Education

Grants for Early Childhood Education

Starting a child care program can be a lot of work, and funding is often a source of stress among business owners and directors. Luckily the U.S. government distributes money through grants each year to help people open a new business or develop an existing one. Below is a list of places that offer grants relating to early childhood education.

*Please note that Child Care Lounge does not offer grants directly, nor can we guarantee that this information is current.


Receive Free Books

  • First Book empowers educators with an unprecedented choice of high quality books and materials.FirstBook.org

Kaboom! Playground Grants

  • KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.KaBOOM!

Kellogg Foundation

  • The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.Kellogg Foundation – Online Application

The Safeway Foundation

  • The Safeway Foundation funds nonprofit organizations that strengthen the neighborhoods we serve. We consider applications in the following areas: Health and Human Services, Hunger Relief, Education, and Helping People with Disabilities.The Safeway Foundation

Toshiba America Foundation

Association of American Educators

The Captain Planet Foundation

  • The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million.The Captain Planet Foundation

Crayola Art-Infused Education Program Grants

  • Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.Crayola Grant Program

Sparkplug Foundation

  • The Sparkplug Foundation is a family foundation that funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations in music, education and community organizing.Sparkplug’s Application Process

Target Education Grants

  • Throughout the year, Target provides education grants to local K-12 schools to support educational field trips, early childhood reading programs and participation in the arts.Target Grants

Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards

  • This award acknowledges the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and on U.S. Military bases and installations around the world are invited to apply. Fifty teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award and is named the National Child Care Teacher of the Year.

Teacher Awards

Reiman Foundation Grant

  • The Reiman Foundation focuses its giving in four main areas: Health Care, Education, The Arts & Children. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Applications are reviewed and decisions made on applications received on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Deadline is rolling.

Grant Information

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Gift Ideas for Child Care Providers

Gift Ideas for Child Care Providers


With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to consider what to buy for the child care provider in your life. Whether you are a parent or a child care director you will find some great gift ideas for providers here!

Art Recipes Booklet-Recipes for playdough, paint, bubbles, clay and preschool art materials. Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase.

Counting Fingerplays Booklet- Fingerplays for many themes that will help you reinforce math and counting skills.Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase.

 Learning Foundations Curriculum-A comprehensive, creative and inviting developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum designed to build skills and facilitate optimum learning experiences, while enhancing self-concept and preparing children for future educational success


Suggested Gift Books


Other Websites

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Enroll your staff in Child Care Lounge online classes and get FREE training for yourself!

Directors: Enroll your staff in Child Care Lounge online classes and get FREE training for yourself!


The larger your program is, the more choices you have!

Enroll 5 or more staff members in any of our classes and choose from one of these classes to enroll yourself.

Enroll 10 or more staff members in any of our classes and choose from one of these classes to enroll yourself.

 Enroll 20 or more staff members in any of our classes and choose from two of these classes to enroll yourself.

Please contact joni@childcarelounge.com to get started!

Not good with any other offer or discount. Offer is valid from November 13, 2014 to December 1, 2014 12:01am

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Suggestions for Clean-Up Time

Suggestions for Clean-Up Time


Utilize special songs or cues. Children will learn to associate that song mentally with clean up time. And then there’s the Mary Poppins-thing- music and a positive attitude can make a chore seem more fun.
Have shelves labeled with words and pictures &/or silhouettes. This makes putting toys away self-correcting, and a skill building matching game, in which children can experience success and be self-sufficient. Your environment should ‘make sense’ and areas should lend themselves to appropriate use and clean up. Everything should have a logical place.
Assign specific tasks when necessary. Some children truly do not know how to clean up or know where to start. Many young children come home to a magically clean home and are not expected to clean their rooms. They actually need to be taught this skill. You may have to teach children to sort the manipulatives, instead of just throwing them all into the closest bin.
Clean up as you go throughout the day. Children should not be allowed to leave an area to go to another area without first picking up what they took out.
If one area of the room is consistently a nightmare at clean up time, examine the problem. An example of this would be the Homeliving Area. We often add to the environment, yet forget to take things out of it, creating an overwhelming mess at clean up time. Sometimes less is more. If only 4 children are allowed in the Homeliving Area, you don’t need 10 purses or a table setting for 8.
Make a mental note of which children were playing in which area(s) during freeplay time. You have to love the child who, when you give your five minute transition warning, scoots quickly out of the really messy Homeliving Area! You also know that someone was playing with the blocks even though everyone insists “not me!”. Quickly jot this down if you need to.
When a child wants to start some elaborate or complicated game or activity ten minutes before it is time to clean up, let him make the choice. Some children don’t mind putting something away halfway through, and some do. Let them make an informed decision and retain having that control.
Working together is the focus of clean up time. You will, of course, hear the, “I didn’t do it/It’s not my mess” argument. Acknowledge that fact, talk about being a team and working together. Thank that child for helping, even though it wasn’t his/her mess. And there is always the natural and logical consequence of “The sooner our room is clean, the sooner we can ____.” Use the next activity as a motivator.
Start cleaning up some areas sooner. If you can see an area is going to be difficult or time consuming to clean up, get a head start on it.
Don’t be locked into everything having to be cleaned up daily. If your children build an elaborate block structure they want to show their parents, consider the possibility of saving it. They can then expand upon it over the next few days.
Only certain areas of the room should be open at the beginning and end of the day for manageability purposes. It is really not fair to that 6:00 pm child to have to clean up the entire Block Area because all of the other children have left for the day.
Ask parents to help and to reinforce you by having their children put away what they’re doing before they go home. Children often want to run to their cubbie and get their coat the minute they see their parent. Politely redirect the child back, because he/she “forgot to do something.” Thank the parent(s), let them know you appreciate their support with this, that you know they are tired and probably just want to get home,etc.

Games/Ideas to Make Clean-Up Time Fun

Beat the Clock” – use an egg timer, kitchen timer, the clock, etc.
“I Spy” (naming overlooked items, having children figure out what they are)
Assign different colors of items to each child to pick up
Have each child pick up 10 items (or however many)
“Surprising” the Teacher that is coming back into the room
Assign cleaning buddies or create “teams”
A “contest” as to which area or team can be done first
“I need my best puzzle-doer! Who is really good at puzzles?!”
“Who knows where this goes?” (appeal to their sense of competency)
Be funny – “Does it go here?” (naming an obviously silly place)
Nominate a daily cleaning “Inspector” or “Inspection Committee”
“I’m hungry for…” Have children put things back in bin (that you hold) pretending and naming a food that they would like to eat. Involve them.
Reward teamwork. A marble goes into a jar each time children work together without being asked, to earn a special treat or activity
Puppets talking to, giving directives, and encouraging children to clean up
A round of applause when the room is clean. Yeah!!!!!
Positive reinforcement, praise, and enthusiasm work wonders!!

Skills Children Learn From Clean-Up

Organization – Teamwork
Cooperation – Matching
Sorting – Cause and effect
Ownership of the room – Responsibility
Increased self-esteem/Pride – Appropriate expectations
Independence and self-help skills – Classification
Non-stereo-typical experiences

Copyright 2005 ~Cathy Abraham

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New Resource Booklets!

New Resource Booklets!

New Staff Orientation Kit

Child Care Lounge is pleased to offer a New Staff Orientation Kit for directors…designed to meet many of the state requirements for orientation of new employees. Be sure to check with your state for SPECIFIC regulations. The kit is available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10. [Note: If you are hiring new staff, you may be interested in our Recruiting Child Care Staff online class.]
Included in the kit:

Characteristics of a Successful Orientation Process
New Employee Checklists
Printable Forms
Ways to Bond with New Staff
Licensing Games
Additional Resources

Art Recipes Booklet

Recipes for playdough, paint, bubbles, clay and preschool art materials. Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.


Counting Fingerplays Booklet

Fingerplays for many themes that will help you reinforce math and counting skills.Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.


Family Child Care Booklet

Information on starting your own family child care program.Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.
Included in the booklet:

Understanding regulations
Naming your program
Policies and contracts
Marketing and promotion
Additional Resources


Click Here to Purchase a Booklet

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Help With Staff Training

Are you worried that staff is not in compliance for annual training requirements? Are you having a hard time finding professional development that is both affordable and convenient? Are you seeking in-service training that you know is of high quality and will reflect the goals of your program?

Child Care Lounge can help!

We can help you develop a training plan for your staff that meets both individual needs as well as meets compliance for state regulations, quality assurance initiatives, and accreditation. There are multiple ways that we can meet your needs for training your staff!

1. Click here to find classes that you would like your staff to take; you can arrange a group discount and they can take independently at their own pace. You can enroll your staff in the same class or different classes. You can also review the class content together and submit work individually.
2. Email us at joni@childcarelounge.com to schedule one of our popular webinars just for your staff: Every Child Is Unique Online Class or The Impact of Violence Online Class

 Still don’t see the course you want? We’ll create it for you!hands-holding-jigsaw

We are an experienced training provider: Each year we train over 7,000 employees from over 75 companies and programs. Go here to learn more about what makes us special!
We will work with you to build customized training that encompasses the dynamics of your organization and ensures that the specifics of both class content and scheduling are designed to meet your specific needs and objectives.
All our courses are interactive, incorporating adult learning principles and
are directly and immediately applicable to the participant’s workplace. We will even incorporate your company relevant examples into the scenarios, class content.
You will find that our training and customization process is affordable, convenient and designed specifically to meet your unique requirements.

“An investment in education always pays the highest returns.”
—Ben Franklin

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Contribute Ideas to Child Care Lounge

Do you have a great tip that could help other teachers, providers or directors? Have you found a way to save money, save time, or just make things easier? Do you have a great form, template or handbook to share? We invite you to share with others. Just complete and submit the form on this page. Submission does not guarantee inclusion. Thanks!

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Child Care Lounge LLC may choose to publish any or all contents submitted solely at its own discretion. Submission of content does not obligate Website to publish the content. Child Care Lounge LLC may be advertiser and/or sponsor supported. You acknowledge that we may place ads near your content.
Child Care Lounge LLC takes no responsibility for any infringement of your copyright as a result of submission. You place your submissions on the Site at your own risk and any legal action to protect your interests is up to you. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or that your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please contact us at the following addresses:

2830 Broadway Avenue #2 Pittsburgh, Pa. 15216 412-885-5172 joni@childcarelounge.com

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Welcoming New Children in Your Child Care Program


Welcoming New Children in Your Child Care Program


Regardless of whether a child is new to the center, being moved to a new classroom, or is moved for part of a day, there are things we can do to make this transition easier.

Tips for welcoming children:

  • Be prepared in advance for a child new to your room. It says a great deal to a parent and to a child if there is a cubbie made and ready just for them! This will absolutely set the tone for this families’ experience with the center (and with you as a professional). Incorporate that child into your Birthday Board. Have a cot ready so you don’t have to do this at naptime his/her first day. I used to put up a welcome sign on my classroom door for new children (after I “got it”) and I actually had parents save them and put them in their child’s Baby Books as a remembrance of their child’s first day of “school”.
  • Welcome this child warmly, on his/her eye level. Think about how scary and intimidating this experience must be for some children. Spend some time with the child .
  • Walk the child around the classroom, showing them the different areas, while positively stating a few very simple rules and guidelines.
  • Introduce the child to the other children, and introduce the group to the new child. Simple and basic – yes, but often overlooked. You will probably need to do this more than once.
  • Make sure that you are pronouncing and spelling the child’s name correctly. This is a huge thing and it is understandably offensive to a parent when a teacher or center does not take the time to learn their child’s name.
  • Read through the Child Profile (developmental intake information.) There is often very important &/or insightful information in these, including crucial information on things such as allergies that you need to know. Gather information from the parent, and if possible, the child’s former teacher as well. (You may need a release for this.)
  • Pair the child up with a buddy. And we all know the children that serve as our welcoming committees and have the personalities for this!
  • Explain the routine and let the child know what will be happening next. Don’t assume that children will know this. Every classroom and teacher is a little different, so take the time to clarify your expectations. And remember, a child who has only stayed with Grandma will have no clue about what “walking feet” are, or using an easel.
  • Call the parent of a new child mid-morning to let them know that the child is doing okay. I can’t even tell you how many parents were so grateful for this small gesture, and stated to me that they were thinking about their child but didn’t want to call and bother us. Reiterate to the new parent that they can always call! Those first few days are rough, and this is very reassuring to parents. If you will not see this parent when they pick up their child, leave a detailed note for them every day that first week on things their child liked and had fun doing. If possible, take a picture of the child enjoying an activity for the parent.
    Continue with making your “What We Did Today” notes detailed and interesting, (posted in a highly visible location) to maintain and build upon parent/teacher communication.
  • Prior to a move, introduce a child to whoever is going to be his/her “new” Teacher a few times. It is obviously ideal to walk a child through the new classroom several times before the big day. Having the child spend small amounts of time in that room is sometimes helpful as well (with the parent being informed prior.) Be very clear ahead of time with the child as to what is going on, and where he/she will be at different times during that day.
  • Talk about an upcoming move with the child in advance, and encourage parents to do the same. This assists in the mental preparation process. For the child new to child care, there are several excellent books on this. (“Mr. Rogers Goes to Day Care” by Fred Rogers, “Debbie Does Day Care” etc.)
  • Make efforts to include this child. Many children do not have the social skills to interject themselves into play experiences with other children and will need assistance, with an adult facilitating this process.

As you can see, many of these tips have an underlying common theme – communication. Don’t we all just want to know what’s going on and what is expected of us in a new situation or environment? If you have ever lost your Daytimer calendar/planner, you know how unsettling it is to not know what you are supposed to be doing next. Think about how much better you feel about something when you feel prepared for it. Respect children and their feelings enough to let them know what will be happening to them. A child’s first experience in a new classroom can be frightening and traumatic, or it can be relatively seamless, calm, and fun. With a great deal of communication, and some effort and sensitivity, we can make transitions positive experiences for children and families, and relieve some of the stress and craziness we associate with new enrollment(s).

© 2005 Cathy Abraham]

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