Library launches new program for child care providers

Kiwanis Club's donation helps to put educational materials for youngsters into the hands of child care providers
Crook County Library has joined with the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education to launch a new program for local child care providers. The focus of the program is on the importance of reading to children using a curriculum called Early Words.
   With a generous donation from the Kiwanis Club, care providers will walk away not only with a greater understanding of childhood development and the importance of literacy skills, they will also have the a complete set of books and educational materials to use in their work place.
   Aimed at all child care providers including those associated with institutions as well as in-home care providers, the program consists of six training sessions held at the library.
   According to the Oregon Center for Career Development who designed the course, reading is a vital skill in America.
   Pointing out that children start to build language and literacy skills long before they start school they have thus identified that early childhood care and education providers play an important role in the development of these skills.
   The comprehensive curriculum taught in Prineville by instructor Teresa Wood, talks about the development of a child's language and reading skills and how they can be augmented by a provider.
   It includes the latest scientific evidence on issues surrounding childhood development including new ways to talk to babies to encourage language development and identifies situations which might indicate a developmental problem.
   From there, the curriculum will discuss topics like toddler education and teaches child care providers how to integrate education with play. It also gives an in-depth look at preschool activities focused on reading and language success.
   The classes are inexpensive for providers at $5 per session. Crook County Library assistant director, Pam Pugsley indicated that library staff and organizers were eager to offer attendants something in addition to the handouts provided by the curriculum.
   Pugsley then approached the local Kiwanis Club seeking funding for books to go along with the curriculum. Her goal was to ask for funding to provide books for attendants which will be awarded as they complete each session of the course.
   "We thought is would be a good idea to put books in their hands so that they could share them with the children they are working with," she said.
   The program was brought to the attention of library staff though a proposal from Karen Potts from the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education. "We were really lucky to get the program here," Pugsley said. "I think it's going to be a good program. The more children we can reach and read to, the better."
   The training manual along with suggested books for children will soon be available for check out at the library as well.