An Eco-Friendly Experience
I started my Child Care Business in 1989. It is based in my home (Licensing calls us Family Child Care).I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development through SDSU. I have continued my education through conferences, workshops, seminars and other trainings. I believe education and experience is an important factor in a quality Pre-school and Child Care program.
Some of the early trainings I had were from Barbara Chernofsky through ABC Instructional Media. I took Resources for Infant Educarers (R.I.E.) training, with Magda Gerber (Respect is the basis of the RIE philosophy). I have attended two “Good Stuff For Kids” seminars from Bev Bos (The Good Stuff for Kids Conference explores what it means to be truly child-centered and seeks to renew the spirit of adults who work with children).
Over the years, my program has become Eco-Friendly. I took a class from the Solana Center, (who partners with San Diego’s Environmental Services), and became a Master Composter. I really believe the statement from one of my Child Development Journals which quotes, “Until we teach children to love the earth, how do we expect them to save it.” I feel if we can plant a “seed” early-on with children, perhaps when they become adults, they will be more earth-conscious.
We have attended many trainings that have similar philosophies. We like to be child guided,(we take cues from the children), and adult guided, (we may extend the children’s experience with other materials or suggestions to support their activity).
My husband Randy has always been supportive of Tender Care and has been actively involved. In 2006 he retired and joined Tender Care as one of the staff. He is a good toddler teacher as well as pre-school teacher. He is fun loving and has lots of patience with the children and is a good male role model (Having our two granddaughters enrolled in Tender Care was a plus for him too!). Before I had opened Tender Care, he took the early trainings from ABC Instructional Media with me.
He has attended many Chid Development conferences, seminars, and workshops. He also attended the “Good Stuff for Kids”seminars. Bev Bos seems to always recognize Randy when he is in the audience at a workshop she is presenting.
When he reads to the children, they fight over his lap. When he does music and movement, the children like to “pile” on top of him. He greets the children in the morning and makes them feel special. I tell the parents not to be surprised after their child has been here for a while, they may start calling them “Randy.”
Randy and I are active in our Neighborhood Association. We are Block Captains, we hold quarterly meetings for our Association. I am on the Board, while Randy is the Newsletter Editor. We are both active with our Neighborhood Community Garden, as well.
Ana is our other staff/teacher. She has been with us since 2006. Ana shows patience, caring and humor with the children. Ana has taken Child Development, and has regularly gone to yearly conferences, and workshops. We may attend different
workshops when we all go to a conference, then later we can compare notes and discuss the information.
We work well together which contributes greatly to Tender Care’s quality. For example, while Ana may be in the Art/Sensory area, I may be getting the two children’s helpers to set the table and/or to cut up an ingredient for lunch. Randy meanwhile may be in the backyard keeping an eye on a water play activity, or those children looking for “interesting bugs” or “sea glass,” in the garden. We do make a good team!
We received Stella and Bella from a cat rescue group when they were 4 1/2 month old kittens. Less then a year later we received Trixie from another cat rescue group. She was three years old. They are all nice “girls” and liked to be petted. We tried to keep them in the house but the “Master Mind” Bella knew how to open the screen door!
We wanted the children to be able to interact with them, so we made the backyard cat proof (It did take some trial and error, but we think we out-smarted them, we hope!).
We feel having the cats be part of Tender Care helps children learn how to be gentle and responsible. Many children may not have pets, or do not have cats, so they can experience with us the joy it brings. Parents who have allergies don’t always get a reaction here because we let in fresh air, vacuum regularly, and the cats are outside much of the day, and may go upstairs to take a nap.