The Elm Tree Newsletter              August 2010


       We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new families!  We are excited to get to know all of you and grateful for the opportunity to provide care for your little ones.




Parent Community Night

       With all the new families joining us in August and September, it seems like a great time to hold a fall parent gathering. We will plan to get together on Thursday, September 2nd from 5:30-7:00 pm.  This meeting is just for parents, sorry kids.  Sometimes families find childcare so that both parents can come and sometimes one parent attends and brings back the news to the other.  Our main topics of discussion will be learning about and planning for our new natural playscapes playground  and planning our upcoming yard sale fundraiser.



§  Colorado weather changes rapidly this time of year.  It would be most helpful if parents could check their children’s basket on a regular basis and make sure they have several changes of clothing for different types of weather.

§  Please sign your child in and out each day with a signature and the time of arrival/departure.  This helps us know who is in the building in the event of an emergency and it’s required by the childcare licensing folks.  This also helps us verify that everyone is wearing sunscreen, so don’t forget this important step!

§  When arriving to pick up your child, it’s important for the flow of our day that children have left by their scheduled pick up time.  Please plan appropriately and allow at least 5-10 minutes for the transition.  Staying beyond 12:30 is disruptive for the children who are staying for nap since teachers need to be able to focus on settling everyone in at that time.  Staying beyond our closing time is very difficult for our teachers as they need to close up and get to various after-work obligations and appointments. Thank you for your help in this matter.  If you find that you don’t have enough time to chat about your child’s day because you cannot arrive earlier, perhaps we can substitute written reports which can be taken with you and read later at a time that is convenient.



Our Blog and Daily Report

      Every day, well, nearly every day, we write up a “daily report” on our blog.  Fun and interesting snippets on the songs, activities, food and events of the day can be found here.  Just type in  Please let us know of any other ideas you may have about how this blog could be of service to our parent community.

Fall Schedule and Tuition Rates

       Beginning September 1st our schedule will change to 8:00-4:00 everyday.  The new fall tuition schedule will begin on that day as well.  In the survey, we found that most families were interested in keeping the early morning time as well as having the longer time at the end of the day.  We hope this will be the schedule that works best for everyone.




We are including the 2010-2011 school calendar with this newsletter.  This year we are going to schedule specific dates for our family events and parent meetings, hopefully this will give everyone more opportunity to plan for these fun gatherings!   We would love to hear back from you about the new format!


Yard Sale

       We are planning our annual yard sale for September 11th & 12th.  All funds raised will go towards funding the natural playscapes playground which will be installed in phases over the next 12 months.  If you have stuff lying around in your garages and attics that you think would be perfect for a donation please set it aside.  Our garage is packed, so please hold onto your donations until the week prior to the yard sale.  Many volunteers are needed to make this a success!


       Another change we will be implementing this fall is writing up monthly newsletters.  This way we can keep everyone up to date on the current events and activities.  We’ll include information in each one about our monthly curriculum focus and songs so that you’ll have more insight into your toddler’s life at school. 


August Curriculum Focus

       Our curriculum for this month will be the elements-earth, air, water, and fire.  We will be breaking them up into four weeks with one week per element.  Our sequence will be water, fire, earth and then wind.  Artworks, songs, and activities will revolve around the element for the week.  For example we will be mixing hot and cold water this week in the water table and freezing toys to be thawed.  For earth week we will be making mud pies and painting rocks.  For fire week we will start a bonfire in the backyard (just kidding, but you get the point).  If anyone wants to join us for making mud pies or any other messy activities we come up with, let us know and we will arrange it.  Mud pies will be happening and we would very much appreciate a parent volunteer. 



The song that will hold all the weeks together is a nice little number from Thich Nhat Hanh.  It goes:

Breathing in, breathing out. 

Breathing in, breathing out.

I am blooming as a flower,

I am fresh as the dew.

I am solid as a mountain. 

I’m as firm as the Earth. I am free.

Breathing in, breathing out. 

Breathing in, breathing out.

I am water reflecting what is real, what is true.  And I feel there is space deep inside of me.

I am free.  I am free.  I am free.