ECA News

Early Childhood Alliance Provides Technical Assistance

Myla Rogers, Early Childhood Alliance (ECA), is providing technical assistance for the Engaging Childcares Toward Healthier Moms and Babies Project that is focused on decreasing infant mortality in Allen County. Healthier Moms and Babies, ECA and several other organizations in Allen County are working to spread awareness with child care providers about the importance of safe sleep for infants as part of the project. The project is funded by Riley Children’s Foundation through the IU School of Medicine.

 

Rogers’ focus is working with child care providers to increase their overall knowledge of early childhood and to help them advance their programs to a higher level of Paths to QUALITY, Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system.

Myla Rogers

Early Childhood Alliance Pop Up Center

The State of Indiana is encouraging communities to find ways to provide essential medical personnel with much needed childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis. In response to this call to action, and after receiving a request from a local healthcare system, Kosciusko County’s Child Care and Early Learning Coalition, also known as LaunchPad, has partnered with other organizations to provide a solution to meet this need in our community.

On Monday, April 27, an Early Childhood Alliance Pop-Up Center will be opening at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. The Pop-up Center will be open Monday-Friday from 6:00 am-8:30 pm. This Center will provide Kosciusko County essential healthcare workers with a free, temporary childcare option. Hours will be flexible according to the needs of essential healthcare workers.

The Pop-up Center in Winona Lake will welcome up to 50 children of essential healthcare workers in Kosciusko County. The Center will follow the CDC and state social distancing guidelines and have a strict sanitation schedule. The children will be in groups of no more than 6-10, and the older children will have their own desks. Children and staff will be required to have their temperatures taken each morning before they enter the building.

Sherry Searles, the Director of LaunchPad, will be the Director of the Pop-up Center, and Rachel Hardy, the Director of Childcare and Inclusive Programming at Parkview Warsaw YMCA, will be the Assistant Director. Staffing the Pop-up Center will be staff from the Children’s Department at Parkview Warsaw YMCA, all of whom have had thorough background checks and experience working with children. Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) is the provider of care for the Center. ECA is a non-profit organization that has been serving the early education needs of children across northern Indiana for 67 years. ECA will be providing additional training to all staff members prior to opening the Center.

The Kosciusko County Community Foundation and other local foundations have donated funds to help make this Pop-up Center a reality in Kosciusko County. Additionally, Warsaw Community Schools is donating desks and food through their meal program. Rabb Water Systems is donating water bottles and Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church has been very generous in offering their newly renovated children’s wing as the location for the Pop-up Center.

For more information about the Early Childhood Alliance Pop-Up Center, contact Sherry Searles at childhooddirector@kchamber.com

ECA continues providing essential service

As many businesses adjust hours and services during this pandemic, Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) Learning Centers continue to serve the community (at 2125 Beacon St; and at 516 E Wayne St – Fort Wayne).

 

ECA sincerely appreciates the work of our health care workers, first responders, and all those who continue to support our community at their essential service workplaces. Caring for their children is also an essential service for the community (per the Governor’s office), and we will continue serving families as long as we can while following all the recommended safety precautions for our staff.

 

ECA management is currently working with staff and families through direct communications with them about risk factors and our efforts to work within the State guidelines.

ECA Introduces Easy Parent Resource

Bright by Text Logo

Parenting does not come with an instruction manual, but age-appropriate ideas from early childhood experts are available…and it’s as simple as using your phone.

 

Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) is introducing Bright by Text, a national program that provides expert tips, activities and resources for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to eight via your cell phone. The local program is funded by Ambassador Enterprises and a grant provided by the PNC Foundation as part of its Grow Up Great initiative.

 

Available in English and Spanish, the Bright by Text information helps families make the most of the early learning years when a child’s brain is developing faster than at any other time in life. In fact, the experiences during the first few years establish the foundation for future learning, behavior and health.

 

In addition to expert content of the text messages, Bright by Text includes messages about family friendly events and resources specific to Allen County. Families receive two to five text messages each week, including links to short videos and additional resources. The information is provided by experts in early childhood, such as Bright by Three, Sesame Street, Center for Disease Control, PBS and Vroom.

 

“Ambassador Enterprises is proud to partner with PNC Bank in bringing Bright by Text to Allen County, whose content provides trusted resources and quality information for parents and caregivers,” said Karyn Tomkinson, Executive Director, Ambassador Enterprises. “We’ve partnered with Early Childhood Alliance to deliver customized messaging to families with young children and continue our commitment to create a lasting, positive impact in our community.”

To sign up for Bright by Text, parents/caregivers with children prenatal to eight can text the word “child” to 274448.

Bright by Text Logo

ECA Welcomes New Staff

Betty Massey

The Downtown Center recently welcomed new classroom staff:

  • Betty Massey, toddler classroom
  • Melissa Bolling and Mercedes Stalling, preschool classrooms
  • Randon Moore, school age room
  • substitutes – Nicole LeMar

New teachers at ECA’s Beacon Learning Center, 2125 Beacon St, are:

  • Alexis Ertel and Kiera Carlisle, infant classrooms
  • Angela Lane, infant/toddler classrooms
  • Alison Strahm, toddler classroom
  • Samantha Allen, prekindergarten classroom
  • Gwyn Heisterkamp, school age room
  • substitutes – Emily Ehinger, Ronzhane Graves

Downtown Center

Betty Massey
Betty Massey
Melissa Bolling
Melissa Bolling
Mercedes Stalling
Mercedes Stalling
Randon Moore
Randon Moore
Nicole LeMar
Nicole LeMar

Beacon Center

Alexis Ertel
Alexis Ertel
Ronzhane Graves
Ronzhane Graves
Kiera Carlisle
Kiera Carlisle
Alison Strahm
Alison Strahm
Samantha Allen
Samantha Allen
Gwyn Heisterkamp

Board of Directors Elects Officers

The Early Childhood Alliance Board of Directors elected officers for 2020: President– Kim Sabrosky, Indiana Michigan Power; Vice President – Kendall Dudley Billows, PNC Wealth Management; Secretary – Julie Sanchez, Expert Business Solutions LLC; Treasurer – Amber Bauer, Community Volunteer.

Kim Sabrosky, Board President

Early Childhood Alliance welcomes new staff

Jenna Rudolph has joined ECA’s Downtown Learning Center, 516 E Wayne St, as the new Learning Center Manager. The Downtown location of Early Childhood Alliance has 122 children enrolled, infants through school age, with nearly 40 staff.

 

The Downtown Center also recently welcomed Ashley Booker as a new teacher for the infant classroom along with substitutes Nia Hinton and Ashlyn Fadley.

 

New to the substitute staff at ECA’s Beacon Learning Center, 2125 Beacon St, is Marianne Cochensparger.

Nia Hinton

Substitute Teacher

Ashlyn Fadley

Substitute Teacher

Jenna Rudolph

Learning Center Manager

Ashley Booker

Infant Teacher

Early Childhood Alliance Staff in New Roles

Maricela Madden has been named Resource Manager for Early Childhood Alliance (ECA). She is responsible for ECA’s new subscription program, SparKitsTM (Sparkafuture.org), which provides quality learning materials each month to spark interactive, early learning experiences and encourage family engagement. She was previously ECA’s Child Care Resource & Referral Coordinator.

 

Myla Rogers is now the CDA Coach for ECA. In this position she is responsible for providing alternative options for higher education in the early childhood education field for both ECA staff and across the community. She was previously a Paths to QUALITYTM Coach.

Maricela Madden
Myla Rogers