Welcome to the first edition of Field News!

Our monthly newsletter will celebrate our successes and bring our followers up to date on our journey to build a model early childhood program. We are grateful for your ongoing support and we hope you enjoy updates on our School Family.

Abbi Kruse, Executive Director

Improving Our Trauma Informed Practices

The Playing Field celebrated our third anniversary on September 8th! We opened in 2015 with the mission of making high quality early education available to all children.
To accomplish this, we had to intentionally address the barriers that often prevent children from accessing high quality programs. Of course, cost and transportation rank high on the list of barriers. However, challenging behaviors are also a barrier for many children— especially for those impacted by trauma. In fact, preschoolers are expelled at a rate of three times that of K-12 students. A recent study showed 250 preschoolers are suspended or expelled every day!
The Playing Field has been recognized across the state for our trauma informed practices.
Trauma Informed Care means teachers understand that trauma impacts a child’s brain, body, and his behavior. The Playing Field has been recognized across the state for our trauma informed practices. In April, we were selected by Tonette Walker to host a delegation from Norway that visited Wisconsin to learn about trauma informed care.
As we continue to develop our model, we have recognized the need to provide a safe place for children outside of the regular classroom. We have recently updated a classroom space that will provide children with a place to rest and reset.
In addition to opening this new space, we are providing extensive training to our staff. In August, Occupational Therapist, Gretchen Crabb trained on the sensory needs of children impacted by trauma. In October, Conscious Discipline Master Instructor, Amy Spiedel will train the staff on how trauma impacts the brain and behavior of a child and how social emotional learning supports our most vulnerable children.

Conscious Discipline Family Camp

Conscious Discipline is the program used to support social emotional learning in the classrooms of The Playing Field. Parents of children enrolled in The Playing Field also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing training related to their child’s behavior, emotions, and developing brain.
In addition to the training provided at our family nights, we offer extra opportunities for our families to receive training and support around child guidance.
Last spring, we held a four hour training on a Saturday that was attended by several parents. One of those parents was Elyes Wilkes, mother of Zeniya who was enrolled in our preschool program. Elyes was very grateful for the chance to learn and excited about implementing the same tools and strategies utilized by her daughter’s teachers.

The Playing Field received an anonymous gift to help with professional development costs. We were able to send several teachers for more Conscious Discipline training. We were also able to send Elyes and her daughter to the first Conscious Discipline Family Camp!

Her daughter enjoyed the camp activities and especially dancing on the stage with Shubert! Elyes was surprised at how interactive the training was and she was glad it involved the children.
Elyes said The Playing Field is different from other programs her child has attended because the teachers focus on the child’s emotional state rather than on labeling behavior as “good” or “bad.”
Elyes said The Playing Field is different from other programs her child has attended because the teachers focus on the child’s emotional state rather than on labeling behavior as “good” or “bad.” Conscious Discipline has provided her with new tools for parenting and new language for addressing her child’s emotions.
The Playing Field is committed to providing both teachers and parents with support and training for their very important jobs!
Photo: Elyes is pictured participating in a demonstration of the Conscious Discipline Brain State Model. From left – a family camp attendee, Conscious Discipline Master Instructor, Jill Molli, Conscious Discipline founder, Dr. Becky Bailey, and Elyes Wilkes.

Meet the Blue Horses

On September 8th, The Playing Field celebrated our third anniversary! This means the infants that enrolled with us three years ago are now preschoolers!
Our unique model focuses on the importance of early attachment. Because we understand the importance of attachment to early brain development and because we know that attachment is the best buffer against Adverse Childhood Experiences, The Playing Field strives to keep the same teacher with children for as long as possible.
Sara Aspenson started on day one as an infant-toddler teacher. She remained in the Brown Bear Room with her children until they were old enough to move to the two year old room. She moved with them and taught in the Green Frog Room during the last school year.
This September, Miss Sara and her little group moved to preschool together! Transitions are often difficult for children but because these children moved with their loved and trusted teacher, their transition to preschool was a happy one!
We are grateful for teachers at The Playing Field who have been willing to rethink traditional child care and embrace the importance of their role as early attachment figures!

You’re Invited

The Playing Field is hosting a kick off to a parent education series on Conscious Discipline. This training will provide all parents with usable strategies for managing child behaviors and supporting their child’s emotional development.
The first training will be held on Saturday, October 27th from 9:00 to 11:00. We invite you to attend and learn more about this program. There is no cost for this introductory session. If parents choose to continue, they will be asked to purchase a book and contribute towards child care costs if needed.
A grant of $2500 from the Capital Times Kids Fund will allow us to offer free books and child care to families in need. These funds will first be offered to parents of children enrolled at The Playing Field and they to parents from the community.

Please email info@playingfieldmadison for more information.

Want to Help?

We continue to raise funds for ongoing needs including scholarships for children. These scholarship funds assure than no child is ever denied access to our high quality program.
Please email  info@playingfieldmadison.org for more information.

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from Young Star, Wisconsin’s Quality Rating System

3910 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 286-1061

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