Dear Friends of The Playing Field,
Thanks to all of you who follow and support our mission, we have a lot to be grateful for! I hope that you will enjoy this issue of our newsletter and take a moment to celebrate with us!
- All of our staff were able to participate in a week-long training in Conscious Discipline®! This is the first time we have had all of our staff trained at one time.
- After a long hiatus due to COVID, our family nights have resumed with amazing participation from our families and staff!
- Our east side site is at capacity and with a grant from the Equitable Recovery Program, we are expanding to a third site!
Please know these celebrations are made possible by your ongoing interest and support! We are so grateful to each of you who take a personal interest in our mission to make quality early care and education accessible to all families in need!
With Sincere Gratitude,
Conscious Discipline Event Held for the First Time in Madison
During the last week of September The Playing Field hosted nearly 200 early educators from 24 different states for a week long training event. Our amazing friends and partners at Plumbers’ Union Local 75 loaned us their 6000 square foot auditorium as well as other classroom spaces to make this event possible.
Having the event in Madison meant that all of our staff members were able to attend! This is the first time we have been able to provide this valuable training to our entire team at the same time.
Several of our staff were able to help to facilitate this event by leading tables and small groups. Our Program Director, Michelle Henner presented a well attended breakout session on mentoring early educators. She was able to share on how she utilizes the Conscious Discipline eCourse to coach new staff. We credit this mentorship program with our ability to work with children impacted by trauma and for our low staff turnover rates.
Executive Director, Abbi Kruse presented break out sessions as well as one session to the entire group. Her first breakout session was on implementation of the Conscious Discipline Parent Curriculum. Her breakout session on working with young children who have experienced early trauma was repeated twice so that all attendees had the opportunity to attend.
Abbi also had the opportunity to present to the entire group on the importance of safety and connection in classrooms. Following this presentation, the training participants were invited to tour at both our east and west side locations. Our teachers had the opportunity to showcase their classrooms and discuss their intentional design strategies. We received excellent feedback from those who enjoyed touring our spaces.
Please join us in celebrating a successful event which we hope will be the beginning of many more!
Family Nights Return!
Family Nights are back at both our east and west locations and we couldn’t be happier!
The suspension of Family Nights due to COVID was tough for both staff and families. We truly missed being able to gather together. Over the summer, we began hosting regular family nights again and just as before, these events have been very well attended.
Most recently, our west side location hosted a fall family night. It was great to see our families sit down and connect over dinner. There were fun activities to enjoy including a sensory station, pumpkin painting, and pumpkin play dough. Children and their families also got to create books together. TPF parent, Shekendra Madlock brought her 360° photo booth which was fun for everyone! (Check out her business page on Facebook— Kendra’s Kreationz.)
Our friends at Bethany United Methodist Church assisted with preparing food, serving the meal and cleaning up. We are so grateful as this makes it possible for our staff to spend time with families and children.
We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our community and to help others learn with us!
We Are Growing
In September of 2020, we expanded to a small, temporary location on Madison’s east side. With help from the Equitable Recovery Program, we are expanding again and we are adding transportation services as well!
Renovations are underway at our third location. This building will allow us to serve ten children ages two to three and twelve children ages three to five. We expect to open this location before the end of the year.
Transportation can be a barrier for families in accessing high quality early care and educations services. The grant will allow us to hire a driver and a bus assistant. United Way Dane County donated funds for us to purchase a 29 passenger bus.
As part of our expansion, we are hiring and training new teachers and teaching assistants. We are offering paid internship opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in early education. Please help us by passing the word.