When Jackie Cain was called about the ECE Learning Collaborative, she felt like she was stuck in a rut. “Sign me up! Sometimes you just have to try something new,” she said. As a result, she feels the collaborative renewed her, and in turn, renewed the kids. “The hands-on activities and the materials we got at the trainings were awesome, and I loved the cooking activities.”
One of the changes she made as a result of the collaborative was to incorporate more movement into the day. “We always went outdoors every day, but now we move more while we are outdoors.” More movement was added indoors as well, through songs, games, musical chairs, and other simple activities.
More nutrition education with the children was an emphasis of the action plan Ms. Cain worked on while participating in the collaborative. Ms. Cain uses plastic fruit and vegetable models with the children to teach nutrition and other educational concepts such as color and shape. Nutrition education is also incorporated into special events. For example, when the children colored eggs for Easter, they also talked about where eggs come from, what foods can be made with eggs, and so on. “I’m also incorporating more seasonal foods into our menus, so that the children are experiencing a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.
Ms. Cain reports that everyone has responded positively to the changes. “My teacher is 28 years old and very energetic, so she has loved the activities. And the children love to try new things too.
More big changes are in store for Ms. Cain, as she will be opening a larger day care center in Madison, Florida later in the year. “I plan to incorporate all of the healthy best practices I learned about in the collaborative at the new center, right from the start.”
Information provided by interview with:
Jacquelyn Cain LFCC