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 training and supporting teachers who work in early childhood settings, though it can only directly serve about one hundred children per year on 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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For Parents and Educators
For over twenty years, BlueSkies has been producing a monthly newsletter, BlueSkies Banner, filled with helpful tips and insights about young children.
You can also access some of our articles here.
Working with Art
How to Address 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.
Adult Education History
In 1987 new licensing regulations required classes in Infant Toddler Development for teachers of children under three, 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, please 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 supporting children’s learning through play. During the following three months, the centers received on-site coaching from a mentor teacher who helped them arrange their classrooms and yards and teach routines that would allow the children to be more self-directed in their play.