Congratulations Ms. Marthan and Nicole and Welcome Sarah!

We’d like to extend special  congratulations to  Marthan Stewart who has been promoted our center coordinator at our Wauwatosa location which is currently located at 10701 W. Research Drive but moving later this fall to 1136 S. 108th Street on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border.

In this role Marthan will be responsible for working with Wauwatosa’s staff to ensure that the center and its programs run efficiently, are developmentally appropriate, and are welcoming for all children. Marthan has been part of the Ebenezer team for six years, most recently serving as assistant coordinator at our Downtown Milwaukee location. She has over 17 years of experience in working with children of all ages in early education, including running her own family child care center until 2010. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from MATC, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Ottawa University. She resides in Greenfield.

We’d also like to extend special congratulations to Nicole Dalsing who has been promoted our assistant coordinator for at our Downtown Milwaukee location which is located at 340 W. St. Paul Avenue.

In this position, Nicole is responsible for assisting parents with concerns in regards to the center and their children, ensuring licensing and accreditation standards are upheld, staff are supported and daily operations flow smoothly. Nicole has nearly 10 years of experience in the child care industry serving in various roles including serving as a teacher in the two-year-old room and a floating teacher at our Wauwatosa Center for seven years. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northeast Iowa Community College. She resides in southwest Milwaukee with her family.

Finally, we would like to welcome Sarah Rushford to our Oak Creek Center where she will be serving as our new Assistant Coordinator: Sarah  holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and an Administrator’s Credential in Early Childhood. She has spent 16 years in child care, with the last 12 of those years in child care management. We are glad to have you as part of our team Sarah!

Thanks to our 2017 Summer Blast Sponsors

Our children have had a blast this summer with various field trips to fun destinations and entertaining guests coming in to teach them about Wisconsin or to simply have a good time together.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors of this year’s Summer Blast Program. We are so very grateful for their support. Without their assistance we wouldn’t be able to offer the fun programming that we do.

Our 2017 Sponsors Include:
Ray Alderma & Sons, Inc.
Sue Bennett
Best Carpet
Children’s Community Health Plan
Eagle Enterprises LTD
Fendos PR
Luke Homan Foundation
K Komfort LLC
Tom Michals, CPA
Milliman Intelliscript
Netintegrity Network Services
The Starr Group
Peter Todd
US Foodservice
Walcheske & Luzi, LLC
Winter, Kloman, Moter & Repp, S.C.
Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc.

 

 

Ebenezer’s Executive Director, Beverly Anderson, Celebrates Her 25th Anniversary

For 25 years, Ebenezer Child Care Centers has been fortunate to have Beverly Anderson (or Bev to many) leading our organization as our Executive Director. In this often-thankless role, Bev is responsible for the overall administration of all policies, regulations, budgets, and program components for the entire agency, which currently consists of four locations. This includes interfacing with the center’s Board of Directors, 90 staff members and over 400 families; conducting community relations; and lobbying for children’s interests. One of her strengths is having a vision for the future to keep Ebenezer strong. In 2013, she saw the growth that was happening in the Oak Creek Community and sought out property to purchase and build a brand new 15,000 square foot facility that opened in 2014 and has a capacity of 166 with strong enrollment today. In 2017, one of Bev’s biggest focuses has been helping our Wauwatosa facility find a larger location to move into on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border, so it can meet the needs of more families.

Bev is extremely passionate about quality early care and education not just at Ebenezer or in Greater Milwaukee but throughout the entire state. She has worked tirelessly to unite the child care industry in Wisconsin by serving as a President of the Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association from 2014-2016; Vice-President of the Board for two terms; Membership/Marketing Chair; Conference Coordinator for 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2015 Conferences; and Past-President from February 2006 – February 2008.

Bev is also the current Chairperson and is a Co-Founder of the Milwaukee Child Care Alliance (MCCA) which has been in existence since 2003. She was also a member of the Early Childhood Council of Milwaukee County from 2004 – 2008; a Board Member for the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin from 2005 – 2008; and a National Accreditation Commission (NAC) Commissioner from 2005 – 2008. If that isn’t enough, she is also a member of the Association of Early Learning Leaders (formerly NACCP), Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF), Wisconsin Early Learning Coalition, and Child Care Forum (DCF Licensing Meetings).

When receiving the Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association Individual Recognition Award in 2013, she was described as the “go to” person for so many administrators. She is incredibly organized and while juggling a workload that would be impossible for many other women, Bev goes out looking for more to do! As one colleague was quoted, “I’m always amazed at her ability to have such a solid grip on virtually every issue that is influencing the field.”

Here’s what some of her staff have to say about her:

“Bev is a dedicated individual who advocates for family and children in early education. She is knowledgeable in our profession and leads with confidence and grace. Most importantly she doesn’t hide in the shadows during hard times, but stands on the front line to fight for what’s right for people of all walks of life.”

“Bev is passionate about bringing change for those of us who work in early care and education.”

Bev has the respect of so many of the influential people in our state who are decision makers for early childhood care and education.

If you haven’t met Bev personally, you can rest assure she has still made your job easier for you by standing up for children and families in our state. She brings honesty and integrity to all she does.

Bev holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-School Education and Child Development from the UW-Madison, and Ebenezer is so grateful for all she has done for us over the past 25 years.

Thank you Bev for all of your wonderful years of service!

 

We’re Moving Our Wauwatosa Center to Expand Our Services

Due to an increasing demand for quality child care services in the West Allis/Wauwatosa markets, we are happy to announce we are relocating our Wauwatosa Center one mile south of its current location on Hwy 100 to be able to expand our services.

The new 6,500 square foot facility will be located at 1136 S. 108th Street on the West Allis/Wauwatosa border. It will be able to accommodate 88 children (our current location was licensed for 51) and will feature two infant classrooms, two toddler  classrooms, a two-year-old classroom, a two-and-a-half-year-old to three-year-old classroom, and a 3K/4K classroom. It will have a secure entrance, spacious playground, full kitchen, and staff  resource area.

Marthan Stewart, our center coordinator for Ebenezer’s current Wauwatosa location, and her staff will be moving to the new location. It is anticipated to open in late fall.  The current Ebenezer Child Care Center in Wauwatosa is located inside the United Health Office Building in Research Park.

We will be increasing our referral bonus for ALL Ebenezer families to include TWO FREE WEEKS of your child’s tuition (with a maximum value of $500), if you refer a family to our new West Allis/Wauwatosa site before December 31,2017. (All referrals to our other locations are valid for one free week of tuition up to $250.) After the new family has been enrolled for four weeks, you will receive the credit! Just have them mention your name at the time of registration. Thanks for helping us spread the word about the quality early care and education we offer!

West Allis Location Flyer Coming Soon

The Importance of Outdoor Play

We live in Wisconsin, where the weather changes all the time. Knowing this, we try very hard to take advantage of outdoor play whenever possible.

Studies have shown that children often spend up to 90% of their leisure time indoors. Busy scheduled lives for children, more time spent indoors, and increased screen time, even with infants and toddlers, has become the norm. This has increased children’s anxiety and depression.

Children’s most common introduction to animals, bugs, plants, leaves, etc. is from books, toys, and other classroom materials. Outdoor playgrounds are a place where children can openly explore, try new things, take some risks, problem solve, explore different ways to move and use their bodies, learn empathy, and use creativity.

Children need to develop large and small muscle skills, and physical play outdoors helps combat the growing problem of obesity in American children.

Using outdoor playground spaces helps fulfill some basic childhood needs—jumping, running, climbing, swinging, racing, yelling, rolling, hiding and making big messes—is what childhood is all about.

“Outdoor environments fulfill children’s basic needs for freedom, adventure, experimentation, risk taking and just being children” (Greenman, 1983).

Meet & Greet with Legislators Sheds Light on Child Care Challenges

On April 13, members of the Milwaukee Child Care Alliance (MCCA) hosted a Meet and Greet with some of our Legislators to talk about issues affecting quality Early Care and Education businesses.

MCCA, Co-Chaired by Beverly J. Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers and Christine Larson Salerno, Operation Executive for Early Childhood Education Centers and the Northwest YMCA for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee discussed three major issues impacting Early Care and Education Businesses:

Wisconsin Shares Reimbursement Rates have not been increased in over 10 years falling under the 30th percentile, even though inflation has greatly impacted cost of utilities, rent and industry supplies including food. Nationally, Wisconsin falls way short of the federally recommended reimbursement at the 75th percentile rate. The lack of receiving increases for WI Shares rates has also resulted in the inability to pay employees livable wages, and has child care programs struggling to stay in business. We need Wisconsin’s legislators to vote to increase this reimbursement rate significantly to match federal standards or else Wisconsin’s early care and education businesses will be in jeopardy.

In addition, Wisconsin Shares Reimbursement system is currently flawed because some families are forced to decline taking a better paying job or raises out of the fear they will lose their Wisconsin Shares support because their income has reached the threshold for the program. The reimbursement for Wisconsin Shares should not cut off at a certain income, rather it should be based on a sliding scale so the more families make the less they will be reimbursed until they can afford to pay for care on their own. Otherwise in the current situation centers are forced to attain different funding to supplement the loss of Wisconsin Shares reimbursements.

Staffing Shortages: There is a lack of individuals entering the child care field for multiple reasons: first it is often not viewed as early childhood education but as “day care” or babysitting; second, this field requires some technical college training and yet it pays the same as a lot of entry level jobs that simple require a GED or high school diploma. Because of this, centers are being forced to invest to train individuals to become qualified to work in the field who then often leave to accept higher paying jobs in elementary schools or other industries.

Child Care Centers face more regulations than school districts between Department of Children and Families State Licensing, YoungStar ratings, EBT criteria as well as their industry accreditations. Thus trying to meet these regulations requires tremendous time, money and staff support when centers are already struggling financially.

Christine Larson Salerno provided an overview of these three issues, event participants sat with elected leaders and discussed how these issues personally impact the centers they work at, and offered ideas on how these situations could be improved. The event proved to be very productive and provided great insights to our elected leaders about the challenges that Early Care and Education businesses are facing.

We’d like to thank the following legislators for being in attendance: Representative Evan Goyke, Nick Janis from Senator Chris Larson’s office, District Director Shannon McCoy from Senator LaTonya Johnson’s office and Senator LaTonya Johnson, Representative Scott Allen, Representative David Crowley, Representative JoCasta Zamarripa and Representative David Bowen.

   

Craft & Vendor Fair Planned for April 29

Come join the fun at Ebenezer Child Care Center’s Spring Craft and Vendor Fair on Saturday April 29th from 9 am to 3 pm!

Location: Ebenezer Child Care Center at 220 W. Forest Hill Avenue in Oak Creek.

There will be a raffle, baked goods and other food items on sale.

Vendors will include:
Crafts by Brenda
Crafts by Heather
Dip’n Good Dips
Discovery Toys
Do Terra Essential Oils
Gifted Hands
Girl Scouts
Grace & Heart Jewelry
Inspirations to Creations
It Works
Jewelry and Purses by Bev
LuLaRoe
Mary Kay
Norwex
Pampered Chef
Perfectly Posh
Stella and Dot
Style Dots Boutique
Thirty One Gifts
Usborne Books
Wild Tree

Admission: $3

All money raised will benefit Ebenezer’s Summer Blast Program. For questions please call 414.768.0151.

Hope to see you there!

Join Team Ebenezer at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That’s why we would like to invite all Ebenezer families and their friends to join us for a walk to raise money for a great cause!
Team Ebenezer Child Care, led by Kris McPhail, our Downtown Curriculum Specialist and two-time cancer survivor, will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk on Saturday, May 6, at Milwaukee’s Veteran’s Park down by the Lakefront. Registration will begin at 8 am, and the walk will start at 10 am.
For more information or to register as part of the Ebenezer Child Care team visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=84326&pg=entry.
Approximately 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Please join us in the fight to find a cure for this disease.

 

Understanding Biting in Child Care

You’re picking up your toddler from child care and you notice a purple bruise on her hand. You then discover a note is attached to your child’s daily sheet. The note is from your child’s teacher informing you that one of your child’s classmates bit her! One of the most troublesome behaviors at a child care center, from a parent’s perspective, is biting. This is true whether your child is the aggressor or the victim. However, what parents need to realize is that biting is a very common behavior from the time children start teething, through their toddler years.

Young children are easily overwhelmed with feelings of anger or frustration. Biting is a powerful way to release these strong feelings. Young children are impulsive and often do not stop to evaluate the consequences of their actions. When they are upset, they lash out. Additionally, young children have limited verbal skills. When they cannot use words to express themselves, they often resort to physical aggression. Young children may be teething. When their gums are inflamed, they may find that biting relieves some discomfort.

Ebenezer’s teachers recognize that biting is a normal  behavior; therefore they are not overly punitive to the biter. They may separate the biter from the other child. Our teachers will ask the biter to     participate in caring for the victim by bringing ice, or offering a hug. Our teachers will also try to prevent children from biting. They will provide many materials and activities for children to release pent-up emotions and frustration.

Finally, our teachers will also work to help young children to learn to verbally express themselves. They may tell the biter, “I see you are feeling very angry with Marcus, but we do not bite. Let’s use our words and tell Marcus that you are mad.” When children are teething, the teacher may have a cool teether available. They may tell the child, “Biting hurts people. If you need to bite, use your teething ring.”

Ebenezer’s teachers will inform the parents of both children about any biting incidents. Ebenezer has a policy that we will not disclose the name of the other child involved. If you have a  concern about your toddler whether the biter or the victim, please speak with your child’s teacher or coordinator to help develop a plan to ensure safety for all concerned. Please remember this is just another phase in child development and it too shall pass.

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

By Kris McPhail, Curriculum Specialist for Ebenezer’s Downtown Milwaukee Center

I am passionate about children and play. Wanting to share this passion, I found some helpful information in an article written by Laurel Bongiorno, PhD, the Director of Champlain College’s graduate program in Early Childhood Education, and printed on the NAEYC For Families website. Here is her list of 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play.

  1. 1. Children learn through play.
    Some of the things they learn are social skills, cognitive skills, literacy skills, physical abilities and new vocabulary.

2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children be strong and healthy. Active play counteracts the obesity epidemic that is currently facing many children today.

3. Play reduces stress.
It helps children grow emotionally, and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.

4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play can be simple or complex. There are many types of play. Play offers researchers many   opportunities to research and study.

5. Make time for play.
Daily time for play helps promote cognitive,  language, physical, social and emotional       development.

6. Play and learning go hand and hand.
They go together, they are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other.

7. Play outside.
Children are losing contact with the natural world. Go outside.

8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There are many books and articles written about play.

9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember when you were a child and play came naturally. Let your child have that experience.

10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
A child’s learning is practiced and reinforced through play. It provides rich learning opportunities, and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.