The Gingerbread Cottage Preschool

Where learning for the future begins
Celebrating 40 Years of Service to the Community!


National Hand Washing Awareness Week

Infants and young children are at greater risk of getting sick because their immune systems have not fully developed. As child care providers, it is important to maintain a healthy learning environment. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, "Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Hand-transmission is a critical factor in the spread of bacteria and viruses causing diseases such as colds, flu, and foodborne illness."

December 7-13 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week and The Association for Early Learning Leaders urges you to help prevent the spread of infection by teaching and practicing the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

1. Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
2. Do not cough into your hands.
3. Do not sneeze into your hands.
4. Above all, do not put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Information provided by: Smart Horizons, The Smart Choice in Early Childhood Education

A Month of Lunch Ideas

Click here to learn about great lunch ideas.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a real issue for many children and their families, especially toddlers and two-year olds.  Some children come bounding into the preschool classroom, and never know a stranger, but others need time to warm up and feel safe and comfortable in a new environment.

There are many practical strategies for helping children through these anxious times.  Caregivers bringing children to the program should be honest, and make goodbyes brief and affectionate, using a positive tone of voice when saying goodbye.  Classroom teachers often use distractions with fun, familiar activities and a comfortable routine.  Matter of fact redirection, such as “here is a tissue to dry your eyes, or you are fine, let’s play with the truck,” helps children feel confident about their teacher.  Bags full of “hugs and kisses” have helped some children.  Strolling outside in God’s world often has a calming effect.  And using a gentle tone of voice is soothing and inviting.  Over time, a feeling of competence emerges in these young ones!

Childrens’ Hospital Tidbits recommends several books to help with separation issues.  They include The Goodbye Book by Judith Viorst, I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusacks and Priscilla Burns, Even if I Spill My Milk? By Anita Grossnickle Hines, and Benjamin Comes Back by Amy Brandt.

Regardless, there is no substitute for loving persistence as teachers, home caregivers, and children work as a team to work through these early growing pains.

Helpful Tip

The first few days of a new school routine can be difficult for young children and their families. Try using some positive strategies to help your child deal with separation anxiety.

  • Make goodbyes brief and affectionate
  • Create a comfortable routine
  • Redirect the child to a fun activity
  • Use a gentle tone of voice