The BlueSkies Mission
BlueSkies for Children has, from its inception, considered its mission to have three parts:
- High quality early childhood experiences for children in full-day care,
- Comprehensive support for parents who are working and raising young children, and
- Education and support for the teachers who are providing these services to children and families.
The quality of a child’s experience in an early childhood setting depends entirely on the ability of the teacher to provide age-appropriate experiences within the context of an authentic, caring, and compassionate relationship. BlueSkies can influence the quality of care for hundreds of young children by supporting teachers who work in many early childhood settings, while it can only serve about one hundred children per year directly on its site. This is why the third piece of the mission has always been teacher education programs through a variety of different delivery systems.
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Working with Art
Working with biting
A good teacher is a good problem-solver. An Early Care and Education classroom bubbles with human growth and emotion … and sometimes it bubbles over! To orchestrate a smoothly running classroom, the teacher anticipates rough spots with preventive strategies and can step back (in her mind, if not physically) from the heat of the moment to note challenging times in the day for later consideration.
For over 30 years, Claire Bainer and Liisa Hale have been contributing to the early childhood education community. Browse the repository of BlueSkies publications, as well as other recommended readings currated by the staff.
For over twenty years, BlueSkies has been producing a monthly newsletter, the BlueSkies Banner filled with helpful tips and insights about young children.
Click here to download all the current year’s editions of the Banner.
We’re also building a carefully curated set of articles directly from the Banner here.
Click here to sign up to receive the Banner monthly.
Adult Education History
In 1987 new licensing regulations required classes in Infant Toddler Development for teachers of children under 3, but few such classes existed. BlueSkies (then known as Association of Children’s Services, or AOCS) received grants from the Clorox and Irvine foundations to create and teach Infant Toddler Care and Development classes on site. From 1987-2002 the Neighborhood Accreditation Center (NAC) allowed more than 3,000 center teachers and home providers to complete all their required classes for teacher licensing from the state, with accreditation through California State University of the East Bay Extended Education. Entry level classes were also taught in partnership with the City of Oakland Senior Asset program, certifying older citizens to start a new career in child care.
If you took NAC classes and need transcripts, contact Cal State East Bay
Subsequent adult education has been offered through programs such as the Working With Play series, as funding permits. In this program, the entire teaching and program staff of eight child care centers attended full day workshops at BlueSkies to learn more about teaching through the children’s play. During the following 3 months, the centers received on-site coaching from a mentor teacher who helped them arrange their classrooms and yards, and teach the routines, that would allow the children to be more self-directed in their play.