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This email is a monthly update from the Child Care Planning Council, which provides resources and support for those interested in greening child care
Pumpkin patch at Davis Street Head Start Center

Green Child Care Newsletter

Updates and resources for greening your center

Volume 2: Issue 1 - November 2013



Welcome Back <<First Name>> to the resource center for all child care providers interested in greening their center. This is the monthly newsletter devoted to greening child care practices in Alameda County. We appreciate your interest in protecting our children and ensuring the best possible setting for their early development.

Educational School Gardens

Grant Opportunity:
Gardens are a valuable educational tool for children of all ages. If you are interested in applying for a mini-grant to start a garden at your school, contact Amy for support.  The  2014 Youth Garden Grant application deadline is December 6th! 

*Reminder* Mandatory Recycling Law

As of July 1st 2012: County Ordinance and State Law require recycling for commercial buildings producing 4 or more cubic yards of waste per week. Enforcement is underway and fines for non-compliance will soon be issued. 
But that's not all! Mandatory composting of organic materials will be enforced starting July 1st 2014. So why not get started now?

Need Free Recycling Assistance?

Contact Kim to help get your center in compliance with the new laws.

New Green Cleaning Toolkit for Child Care Providers

Child Care Integrated Pest Management: 
This toolkit provides resources for you to effectively keep your center pest free, clean, and safe. These are free resources that will enable you to learn about the problem with bleach, what to look for on labels, posters for your classroom about green cleaning, among other interesting resources. 

Autumn Recycle Crafts!

Recycle and Create: As it is November, you are probably thinking about some Fall or Thanksgiving art projects for the children. Why not used recycled products! There are all kinds of projects you can do for example:

Looking for energy efficiency activities?

Bright Ideas for Children:  The California Preschool Energy Efficiency Program (CPEEP)  has created these pedagogical materials to support teachers, caregivers, and parents in teaching children about energy conservation. You can use these activities to make your preschool greener. Click here to find activities and cut outs for your students!

 

Free Professional Integrated Pest Management Training

Reduce toxins in your center and learn the requirements for the 2001 Healthy Schools Act. UCSF School of Nursing is conducting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research on child care centers in Alameda County, Santa Cruz County, and Merced County, with the goal of reducing pesticide exposure for staff and children. They are currently recruiting centers to participate. Enrolled centers will receive free professional development training for staff, technical assistance, tools, and supplies to support IPM practices. For more information please contact Bobbie Rose at brose@ucsfchildcarehealth.org or 510-204-0932. 

 

Green Purchasing

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: A great way to continue greening your preschool is to look into green purchasing. Green products are made of recycled content processed chlorine free, unbleached, environmentally certified and use less paper. They are all of that AND they can be more cost effective. You can purchase environmentally preferable products for kitchen use, janitorial use, art supplies...the possibilities are endless!  StopWaste provides some factsheets about green purchasing here.   

Some green tips for your lifestyle

Quick habits you can start today:
  • Walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation instead of driving, if you have to drive, try to carpool/rideshare
  • Separate your waste, recycle, and compost (and electric) - not only at home but at work too!
  • Use online billing if you can - reduce the paper in bills and take away the need for receipts!
  • Use CFL or LED light bulbs - these are more environmentally friendly and more cost efficient
  • Use re-usable containers as opposed to "disposables" - ie. use a refillable water bottle
  • Keep your re-usable bags with you


Announcing
Kim Hazard

New Climate Corps Bay Area Service Member Kimberly Hazard is now working at the Alameda County Child Care Planning Council as Greening Preschools Coordinator. As part of her service, Kim offers waste assessments, lesson plans and curriculum support, presentations for children on recycling and compost, as well as professional development for staff and teachers at no cost to you or your center. The service year ends August  2014, so make sure to take advantage of this limited-time offer! Contact Kim at
510-208-9653 or kim.hazard@acgov.org.

FREE Bins and Kitchenware!

Greening Preschools Program: To encourage participation in the green preschools program, we are installing bins and providing reusable kitchenware to qualifying schools. The supplies are limited, if you are interested in the program contact Kim.

Join the National movement and take the pledge to green your child care center!!

GreenCare for Children: This 25 question checklist outlines various steps you can take to green your center.  When you come across issues you don't know how to address, the interactive checklist will explain how.  For example if you are not sure how to phase out toys and plastics that contain harmful toxins, the site will provide you with steps to take to do so. 

Kim's Corner 

A Message from Your New Greening Preschools Coordinator: 
Hello all, I am so excited to be assisting the Alameda County Child Care Planning Council with their Greening Preschools Program! I look forward to "talking trash" with many of you and getting my hands dirty with the kids as we roll-out several new recycling and composting programs throughout the county. I grew up outside of Placerville, CA nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Growing up among rivers and trees instilled a life-long passion for and commitment to protecting the environment. In May 2013, I graduated from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) with a degree in Society and Environment. November is a month of gratitude, and I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to work with you all on making our preschools as green as can be. So please feel free to contact me at anytime and please do take advantage of the amazing FREE resources I've got for you. 

Give Thanks!

Late November is always an exciting, if not hectic, time. Many of us drive to go see family and they in turn drive us crazy. Plus it is time to start preparing for holiday giving and traveling. Here are some tips on staying green this holiday season:
  • Travel efficiently - Carpool, pack lightly, avoid traffic, and offset what you can't avoid
  • Shop small - Small Business Saturday is November 30th
  • Give and get less STUFF - tell your loved ones what's not on your wish list with SoKind
Thank you all so much for the work that you do as child care providers!
Copyright © 2013 Alameda County Early Care & Education Planning Council, All rights reserved.
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