Karen Harding of Community Coordinated Child Care spoke recently to Clay County Literacy Advisory Council about a proposed ordinance in Vigo County which would require childcare providers to be licensed.
"There have been two deaths in Terre Haute during the last year that occured in childcare situations. One was a 7-week-old infant that had pneumonia and was at a facility not licensed for infants. Their license started at age 3. The other situation claimed neglect because the child was found sleeping on its back.
There was also a death in Putnam County attributed to a childcare provider.
Vigo County is getting a bad reputation in the area of childcare, so the county is considering adopting an ordinance requiring childcare providers to be licensed. Other counties surrounding Vigo may also adopt a similar ordinace," she said.
Harding said 4-C obtained a $100,000 grant for the six counties it serves. Building Blocks to Quality Child Care Program is funded by Indiana Child Care Community Initiatve Grant, United Way of the Wabash Valley and private donations.
The voluntary program offers child care providers and families a rating scale based on objective criteria to assist families in determining what level of care best meets their needs. It also gives free training that teaches how to provide a safe and stimulating environment; free equipment, toys and resources to providers; and provider incentives to complete uppper level blocks. Better Baby Care Training offers free provider training, mentoring and onsite observation in the specialized care of infants and toddlers.
"The Building Blocks program requires that children are within sight and sound at all times. It's taken these tragic deaths to bring the community to the realization that both are necessary," Harding said.
Other information discussed included:
- Penny Akers, owner of Little Creek Special Equestrians Therapeutic Riding Center would like to obtain funding to bring the Black Stallion literacy program to Clay County. Author of the Black Stallion book series, Walter Farley, has a son who started the program that brings his father's books at no charge to children and exposes them to ponies. She presented a cost breakdown to the Literacy Advisory Council. The complete program would average about $15 per child. Purdue and Agape have participated in the program and Akers is in the process of contacting representatives at both places.
- Monica Wallace, Even Start director, reported the program has enrolled its first father. He has an 11-month-old baby and is working a night shift. Instructors are working around his schedule until the new prevention site is open with evening hours.
She also said a mother has been accepted at Ivy Tech State College, but the mother toured Indiana State University and is considering enrolling there after obtaining her GED next month.
Wallace said three instructional assistants went to Louisville, Ky., recently for additional training.
Mary Yelton, prevention coordinator, interviewed six families served by Even Start and they all gave very positive feedback regarding the program.
- Yelton said renovation has begun at the prevention site with wall studs now in place.
- Brazil Public Library Director Jill Scarbrough said the South Branch in Clay City has 370 paid family memberships. She encouraged all in attendance to contact their county commissioners to support tax dollars for a countywide library system.
- Yelton said the Council had applied for free books through the First Books National Book Bank but hadn't received them yet.
- Minnis and Associates is working on the CAPE grant annual report and will present its evaluation to Clay Community Schools Superintendent Thomas Rohr this month. Jennifer Minnis and Scott Hill, school corporation technology director, are working together to form a Website for CAPE Literacy Project with links to other literacy organizations and higher education. Purdue University is developing a Website dealing with parenting concerns from preschool to college. They hope to be ready to launch the Website by the end of this month at the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children conference.
- Indiana Youth Institute will conduct fundraising training for small non-profits for the first time in Terre Haute April 9-10.
Beth Tevlin, Wabash Valley Community Foundation executive director, said it is a worthwhile seminar.
CAPE would pay the $45 enrollment cost for those wishing to attend from the Council.
- Thirty-two childcare providers attended last month's seminar by Kathy Politz, education consultant for Indiana Department of Education. Foundations for Young Children to the Indiana Kindergarten Academic Standards have been developed to support all adults that work with 3-5-year- olds.
Providers learned a great deal from Politz and desired additional training. Money was set aside to fund the Foundations but no money is availble to take the information out to providers. CAPE brought the program to Clay County.
- Best-selling author Jim Trelease will discuss the benefits of reading aloud to children during a seminar Sept. 30 at Northview High School.
Trelease will speak on what parents and teachers can do to help a child's reading based on his national million-copy bestseller "Read-Aloud Handbook," that grew out of his experiences as a parent and school volunteer. His "Reading-Aloud" preview videos are available to check out from the Title 1 office.
- A literacy conference will be conducted Aug.12 with representatives from National Center for Family Literacy. "Engaging Parents" is a potential theme for the conference. Other possible representatives include Politz and the Council is looking to schedule a Creative Curriculum training as well.
- Vicki Switzer and Caroline McCullough researched grants and prepared a grants directory for various Clay County organizations.
Vigo County has a grants directory available at its library locations and suggested Clay County consider placing the directory at Clay County libraries.
The directory will only be helpful to Clay County if people apply for the grants. It was indicated that grant writers are needed because of the tremendous amount of time it takes. Yelton has names of grant writers that she would provide to anyone interested.
- Five $5,000 Request for Proposal grants from CAPE are available this year and next year for higher education. Request for Funds Applications, developed by Minnis and Associates, are $1,000 mini-grants for direct literacy organizations.
Community Focus Grants may be a possibility for funding a building for Head Start. Clay City Head Start would like to receive funding for a new addition to the present location as it is not large enough to accomodate all the various programs involved.