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School-Age Sledding Trip 2015

January 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


Recently our school age children had the opportunity to enjoy the snow with a sledding trip!  I hope you enjoy the pictures! Jasmine


Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.


April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


In honor of you all we are hosting a Pancake Breakfast tomorrow! Make sure you stop in the Barn Thursday morning from 7:30-9:00 for our pancake breakfast!  You can come see Miss Whitney from the Cottage, Miss Rachel from Young Five’s and Mr. Niel our cook flip pancakes and serve fresh fruit! : )  We hope to see you there!



A great start to the new school year!

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome returning and new families to School Age! We have had a very sucessful first few weeks back.

As many of you already know we have had a few changes this school year. We are back in the cottage for aftercare. YAY! As many of you know,  Sara Guoan recieved a promotion and moved on to another Gretchen’s House Center. We’ll miss her, but wish her all the best in her new position.  Brett Ettenhoffer will be heading morning care four days a week and our new GSRP teacher, Whitney Haynes,  will open the room on Wednesdays.  Chris and his wife moved to Ohio this summer so he is no longer helping with aftercare but we are lucky to have Susie Coleman joining our team.

We are all looking forward to a fun-filled year!!




Boxes Galore

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

From Carol: Collecting Food in Memory of Eric Keefauver

October 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hello, Families.

I have been teaching in Traver’s Preschool program for 6 years now and in that time I have met a lot of wonderful families. I recently discovered that one of my parents, Eric Keefauver, passed away due to a serious illness on August 16th. Some of you may remember his daughter Lily who was in our preschool class and our Kindergarten room.  His family requested that donations be given to Food Gatherers, one of his favorite charities.

To honor Eric and his family we would like to begin collecting food during the week of October 24th and end on November 4th. Look for the labeled milk crates in  your child’s classroom. Depending on the children’s interest level in this collection we may or may not decide to do a field trip to deliver the food. Conversations with the children about this project will include only topics like helping others who need more food, taking care of others, being a family and helping each other etc. If you have any questions please let me know.

Thank you for helping us to honor Eric and his family,



Curriculum Night

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Parents:

Curriculum night will be held this Thursday, September 22nd from 6-7:30PM.  We will be discussing constistent routines and how they affect your child’s day.  We will also be answering any questions parents might have about our HighScope curriculum and anything else they need advice on.


Young Fives and Schoolage: Ch-ch-changes

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Chris, Brett and I wanted to thank all the parents/ guardians for accepting the beginning of the school year changes with ease. We know that change is difficult but you have helped make these transitions very easy. We have moved afterschool care to the lower leverl of the barn and have also combined our Young Fives and School Age programs together at 4:00 each day. We are making adjustments but we feel that this change is going to be very beneficial to both groups of children. Please feel free to stop any of us with questions or suggestions you may have. We are looking forward to another great year!



From The Director-Bed Time Tips from Love and Logic®

July 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

End the Bedtime Blues

Parents don’t need to force kids to go to sleep

By Jim Fay

The challenges of adolescence can be harder for parents to deal with than for their kids

Bedtime is a time of frustration for many parents. They wish it could be a magical time to reconnect with children and share fond memories. Here are some easy ways to make those dreams come true:

Bedroom Time vs. Bedtime
The journey to bedtime bliss starts with renaming bedtime. Kids need to think of this time as “bedroom time.” It’s a time for them to be in their rooms, but not necessarily with their eyes closed. Wise parents never try to control the uncontrollable. “You get in your bed and go to sleep, right now!” creates a power struggle over something parents cannot control. A skillful child can keep a parent engaged with this argument for hours.

Slowdown Time
Bedroom time is a journey in itself. It starts with “slowdown time.” A slowdown routine is essential. Children’s brains operate at a high pitch and don’t shut down as quickly as adult brains. Parents should announce the beginning of slowdown time about 40 minutes before bedroom time.

Slowdown time includes turning off stimulating activities such as television, exciting music, and family games. It also is a wonderful time to give kids choices:

  • “Do you want to go to bed right now or in 10 minutes?”
  • “Do you want to brush your teeth in the kitchen or the bathroom?”
  • “Do you want a story first or your bath first?”
  • “Do you want a drink in the kitchen or in your room?”
  • “Do you want a piggy back ride or walk on your own?”
  • “Do you want the light on or off?”
  • “Do you want to get tucked in or do it yourself?”
  • “Do you want to go to sleep right away or try to keep your eyes open as long as you can?”

There is magic in choices. They speak directly to the human need for control and can produce amazing results. Be sure to offer choices you like. Never give one choice you like and one you don’t.

The kids are given no more than 10 seconds to make their decisions. If it takes longer, make the decision for them. Kids become quick decision-makers when they know their parents will be making the decision for them if they don’t act quickly.

Some children like to negotiate in the face of choices. Resist the temptation to argue or reason at this time. Use Love and Logic® arguing neutralizers, such as “I love you too much to argue about that, maybe you’ll like tomorrow’s choices better.” Repeat this phrase as often as necessary without sarcasm or anger.

Remember there is nothing more contagious than a yawn. Experiment with yawning and acting sleepy during story time. It’s great fun to watch the drooping eyelids.

Parent Time
Once the kids are in their room, that’s where they stay. Announce that “kid’s time” is over and it is now “parent’s time.” Stick to your guns on this.

Kids have been known to resort to, “It’s scary in here. There’s monsters in my room.”

Just remember kids take their emotional cues from their parents. The best solution is to respond in a firm, yet loving way: “Well, sweetie, my advice is to make friends with them. See you in the morning. I love you!”

Give these Love and Logic® tips a try, and join thousands of parents who enjoy peaceful evenings with their kids!

Click on the link below to see how much a sleep a child should be getting per day:

From The Director- 6 Steps to Resolving Conflict

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

How do Gretchen’s House  teachers help children learn how to resolve conflicts?

Conflict naturally occurs in children’s play, whenever they become frustrated or angry. This does not mean children are bad, selfish, or mean. They simply have not yet learned how to interpret social cues, understand other viewpoints, or match their behavior to the situation. To help children learn how to work out their disagreements together, High/Scope teachers are trained to use a six step process to solve problems and resolve conflicts:

1. Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions or language. A calm manner
reassures children that things are under control and can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.

2. Acknowledge feelings. Children need to express their feelings before they can let go of them and think about possible solutions to the problem.

3. Gather information. Adults are careful not to make assumptions or takes sides. We ask open-ended questions to help children describe what happened in their own words.

4. Restate the problem. Using the information provided by the children, the adult restates the problem, using clear and simple terms and, if necessary, rephrasing hurtful words.

5. Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together. Adults encourage children to suggest solutions, helping to put them in practical and concrete terms. We accept their ideas, rather than impose our own, thus giving children the satisfaction of having solved the problem.

6. Give follow-up support as needed. Adults help children begin to carry out their solution, making sure that no one remains upset. If necessary, we repeat one or more steps until all the children return to their play.

With consistent  practice children can learn  to handle problems commonly encountered  in everyday life.  You don’t have to be a HighScope trained teacher to use these steps! We encourage parents to use these steps at home too–to help solve conflicts between you and your child, with a sibling, or with friends. You can also use these steps to help your child solve problems when they become frustrated playing with materials or trying out new things. As always remember that it takes time and practice on the adults’ part too! Keep a copy of the steps on your refrigerator, in your child’s play area and in your pocket if you are out and about. It’s important to go through all the steps.


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