ECA News

Board of Directors elects officers

Early Childhood Alliance Board of Directors elected officers for 2017: President – Dena Jacquay, Parkview Health; Vice President – Ben Michael, Fort Wayne Metals; Secretary – Tim Green, Sterling Associates; and Treasurer – Heather Teagarden, US Department of Justice.

The Board also approved three-year terms for two new Board members: Kelli Packnett, Fort Wayne Community Schools, and Hope Sheehan, Community Volunteer.

Giving Tuesday Coming Soon

After the Thanksgiving feasting… after the Black Friday shopping… after the Cyber Monday deals comes #GivingTuesday on Nov. 29, 2016. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

In the days leading up to #GivingTuesday, we will be recognizing our donors and supporters. Their generosity supports #ECAlliance and early childhood education, allowing us to build bright futures for thousands of young lives and families every year.
We want to flood Facebook in November with #UNSelfies of our supporters – including you! #UNSelfies are selfless selfies that include a quick message about why you support worthy causes – such as early childhood education or ECA. Won’t you join us in sharing your “why?”

Choose your favorite #UNSelfie template below. Print & personalize it with your “why.” Snap a quick pick and share it to our Facebook page in November.

Children’s activity series scheduled

Developing a child’s capacity to learn at an early age is critical for success in school. Book Buddies is a program that can help parents and caregivers do that.

Early Childhood Alliance has scheduled Book Buddies for September – May. Open to the public, one series will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd (708 College Ave, Winona Lake), 11:30 am -12:30 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month,* (except December). The second location is at South Whitley Library (201 East Front Street) 10:30-11:30 am, on the second Thursday of each month (except December).

Book Buddies is designed for children ages 18 months-kindergarten, accompanied by parents/caregivers. Developed by Early Childhood Alliance, Book Buddies focuses on early learning, including social skills and preschool skills, through the use of books, music and activities. The program provides a time when parents/caregivers and children work and play together, giving parents/caregivers ideas on ways to nurture skills at home. Activities focus not only on reading and writing, but also math and science concepts, health, and the development of large and small motor skills. Each family receives a copy of the book used at each session.

No registration is required. For more information, contact Lanissa Maggert, family engagement coordinator, lmaggert@ECAlliance.org or 800-423-1498 / 260-469-2479.

For more activities check out our Family Event Calendar.

*The November session meets November 17th.

100+ Women Who Care Donation

Early Childhood Alliance programs are getting a financial boost thanks to a donation of $27,000. The money was donated through the local 100+ Women Who Care advocacy group with matching dollars from Parkview Health and Old National Bank Foundation.

“We are genuinely grateful to 100+ Women Who Care for choosing ECA as the donation recipient, and to Parkview Health and Old National Bank Foundation for their matching dollars,” said Madeleine Baker, CEO. “This support will not only help ECA continue to make a significant impact for children and their families, but is indicative of the commitment of people throughout this community for nonprofit organizations.”

ECA Hires Ministry Coach

Carla Biro has joined the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) Child Care Resource and Referral staff as a Ministry Coach. Her responsibilities include working with child care registered ministries across the northern Indiana, as they work toward obtaining Voluntary Certification and enroll in Paths to QUALITYTM, Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system for child care programs.

Paths to QUALITY is a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early care and education programs in Indiana. Paths to QUALITY is a tool that helps parents identify quality early care and education programs at four levels of progression. It also helps child care providers improve quality through professional development.

Paths to QUALITY Specialist Joins ECA

Mona Livingston has joined the Early Childhood Alliance Child Care Resource and Referral staff as a Paths to QUALITY specialist. Her responsibilities include supporting programs that are participating in Paths to QUALITY, and connecting with community members and programs to build capacity, primarily in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall and Kosciusko Counties.

Paths to QUALITY is a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early care and education programs in Indiana. Paths to QUALITY is a tool that helps parents identify quality early care and education programs at four levels of progression. It also helps child care providers improve quality through professional development.

Steppin’ Out to Spark a Future

A lively auction of Mexican holidays, Colts football, and specialty dinners were among the items that helped Early Childhood Alliance raise more than $76,000 at its May fundraiser, Steppin’ Out to Spark a Future for Children. More than 150 guests were treated to live music, fine food and sunset views atop the Embassy Theatre in support of high quality care and education for children.

Proceeds from the fundraiser support ECA’s family engagement programs as well as increase family access to affordable, quality early learning and child care at Early Childhood Alliance’s two learning centers where a majority of families enrolled depend on tuition assistance.

Event chair was Jill Kinder, community volunteer.

See more about this special event here.

Event Sponsors

Champion Sponsors

Parkview Health
PNC Bank
Rick and Vicki James

Family Champions

Indiana Michigan Power

Educator Champions

Dulin Ward & DeWald
NIPSCO
Old National Bank
Parkview Physicians Group
PHP
Sweetwater
Travel Leaders
Vera Bradley

Additional Sponsors

BKD
Briljent
Fort Wayne Metals
Hylant Group
Ian & Mimi Rolland Foundation
Salin Bank
STAR Financial
Three Rivers Federal Credit Union
Ron & Kathy Turpin

ECA Hires Specialist

Shelly Meredith is now the Infant/Toddler Specialist at Early Childhood Alliance (ECA). In her new position, she will work with families of infants and toddlers, responding to questions and assisting with the search for child care. Meredith will also provide technical assistance and on-site training on topics related to infant/toddler care and child development for both early childhood professionals caring for infants and toddlers and organizations that work with families.

Meredith has been with ECA for four years as a classroom teacher at the Learning Center on Beacon Street. She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Ball State University.

Check out our new wheels

Be on the lookout for ECA’s new van, delivering programs and services across 10 counties of northern Indiana. The van is used to transport both materials for Book Buddies and Learning Kits to early childhood programs, and also for staff/Board member use to make program visits and attend meetings/events. Book Buddies is an on-going, early learning program for families offered at several libraries and other locations. Learning Kits with books, hands-on learning materials, and teacher resources are used to enhance learning environments. They are available to be checked out for FREE to all programs enrolled in Paths to QUALITYTM, Indiana’s quality rating and improvement system. Visit our Family Events Calendar for the Book Buddies schedule.

We wish to thank these generous sponsors

PNC Bank

Special Events Celebrate Month of the Young Child

April 10-16 is Week of the Young Child™, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose is to recognize and celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers and families. Many programs across the country expand the week to the entire month of April with special events.