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Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.

Exploring with Pumpkins!

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

We brought pumpkins into our playground for the kids to explore with.  Some children rolled them up and down the sidewalk, some used them as a seat, and others colored on them with chalk and crayons.  We decided to cut a pumpkin open to show the kids what was inside.  This was a great sensory experience when they felt the slimy insides .   It was also fun to put golf tees in the pumpkin and let the kids hammer them.

Fall activities are so much fun.  Be sure to check out the other pictures hanging up in our classroom.

-Jessica Irish

Lake Infant/Toddler Calendar

November 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is the November 2012 Lake I/T Calendar

-Jessica Irish

Water Play

October 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The pond infants had the opportunity to spend time exploring water in buckets this week.  Many of them seemed excited and jumped right in and started playing.

There are many benefits for children when they explore the world with all of their senses:

Cognitive development-  The infants developed a better understanding of their environment when playing with all their senses in the water

Social skills – The infants worked together and observed eachother when splashing in the water

Sense of self – When children experience things for themselves they develop a better understanding of their own preferences.  Accepting and acknowleding the child’s feelings about their preferences reassures the child that their decision is valid.

Communication skills  –  During the water play the infants used verbal communication such as babbling and nonverbal communication such as facial expresstion when splashing in the water.

-Jessica Irish

Infants Painting

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Painting is so much fun!!  Ryan, Blake, and Ella Mae discovered what it feels like to have paint on their fingers.  We observed many social interactions such as babbling, smiling, and laughing among the children as they moved the paint around on the tray.

-Jessica Irish

Lake Infant/Toddler October Calendar

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is the Lake I/T Oct 2012 calendar.

-Jessica Irish

Lake Infant/Toddler Calendar

August 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is the

Lake Infant/Toddler September 2012 calendar




Pond Infants Explore Water!

August 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Holly and Daniel cool off on a hot summer day!


Lake Infant/Toddler Calendar

August 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is the Lake Infant/Toddler August 2012 calendar. Enjoy!


Visitors from High Scope and China

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The High Scope Foundation will be bringing a group from China to our center on Thursday, July 19th and Friday, July 20th.  Most of the visitors will be experiencing Michigan and the U.S. for the first time.  This group of educators will be visiting Oak Valley as well as Perry Nursery School in Ypsilanti.  They are here to learn about the High Scope curriculum model and see it demonstrated in the early childhood setting.  They will be accompanied by a High Scope representative and a translator.  In common areas throughout the center, you may see a group of 25, as I explain how our center operates and how High Scope is implemented in our classrooms.   When they observe in the actual classrooms, they will be entering in smaller groups. Their visits will last approximately 2 hours each day.

We are proud to share our center with the international early childhood community.


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