October 2012

In This Issue
Reminder - Outdoor Innovations Awards
Where do the Children Play?
Building Early Childhood Facilities
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Green Guide for Small Businesses  

There is little doubt that the last few years have been difficult financial times for child care centers in Rhode Island. This makes cost savings more important than ever. Virtually every small business can find ways to improve energy efficiency and save money in the process, and improving your bottom line will also help take better care of our environment. LISC's newly released Greening Your Small Business Guide is a great place to get started with ideas for how to make easy but valuable investments in your business's future. Click here to download your copy. Make sure you also have a copy of LISC's Greening Your Early Childhood Center Guide published in 2010 - it is full of great ideas you can implement in your center today!  

Right from the Start   

LISC's partnership with Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley and Connecting for Children and Families to improve early childhood opportunities for young children in Woonsocket's Constitution Hill neighborhood was featured recently in the national newsletter of LISC's Institute for Comprehensive Community Development. The report, Right from the Start, highlights the redevelopment of the Hope Street School - a project that LISC financed with an affordable loan and New Markets Tax Credits - as well as an innovative model to make rental housing available to family child care providers. 

Early Learning Rhode Island

A reminder to follow the latest Rhode Island happenings related to early learning at the Early Learning RI website. Updates regarding the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant and other important news on upcoming meetings, funding opportunities and more are posted here.

The Rhode Island Child Care Facilities Fund (RICCFF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to expanding access to quality child care and early education in low-income communities throughout Rhode Island. Launched in 2001, the RICCFF provides the capital and technical expertise that child care centers need to improve the quality and capacity of their physical space. The Fund can provide a combination of training, technical assistance and flexible, affordable financing for a wide range of projects including minor renovations or construction of a new, state-of-the-art child care facility. Click the logo below to learn more about what the RICCFF can offer your program.

Reminder - Outdoor Innovations Awards...  


Are you feeling inspired to create great experiences for children outdoors? We are looking for examples of centers that have done something outdoors that meets some or all of the following criteria: 

  • Is unusual, creative & fun
  • Is low cost
  • Incorporates nature in interesting ways
  • Helps expand curriculum to the outdoors in new & innovative ways

Submit your story and photos anytime between now and December 31, 2012 to and you could win a $500.00 grant to be used towards materials for the children's playground and will be featured in an edition of our ENews!

Our first award went to Sunshine Child Development Center for their Mud Day. And our second award goes to...  


Westbay Children's Center School-Age Program for their "Chalk the Walk" day which was held on August 21st. Chalk the Walk is a nationwide program designed to spread joy, optimism and inspiration through bright, bold, magical chalk messages for all to see. The school age children at Westbay brainstormed some uplifting messages and lots of positive, fun and happy words, then broke into teams to create very large "chalk magic". Photos were taken and sent to the interactive blog/website for display along with 24 other states and the 3 other countries that were participating. Some of the children even took chalk home to continue their positive messages throughout their neighborhoods! Learn more about this great initiative at  

Where do the Children Play?    


On Thursday, October 11, 2012, Pawtucket COZ, Pawtucket CDC, Pawtucket Parks & Recreation and the Providence Children's Museum will be sponsoring a free public screening of the award winning documentary "Where do the Children Play." The thought-provoking documentary examines an issue of growing concern to pediatricians, mental health professionals, educators and environmentalists: more and more children are growing up with limited time and opportunities for unstructured play, especially outdoors. The film will be shown at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Following the film, LISC's Senior Program Officer Cindy Larson will join John Blais, Pawtucket Parks & Recreation Director; Janice O'Donnell, Providence Children's Museum Executive Director; and Dr. Elizabeth Lange, pediatrician, to lead an audience discussion. To attend the event, RSVP to Jane Blanchette To learn more about "Where do the Children Play" visit the film's website.

Building Early Childhood Facilities: 
What States can do to Create Supply and Promote Quality 


Increasingly in Rhode Island the physical environment is cited as a barrier to centers achieving higher levels of quality. A range of challenges face Rhode Island's early learning community - from frequent health and safety issues and other limitations of older buildings to facilities not originally built to house young children to evolving environmental standards.. In most cases, the fixes to these challenges are costly ones that cannot happen overnight. These challenges are in many cases not new and are mirrored in states across the country. In 2007, LISC's Community Investment Collaborative for Kids partnered with Rutgers University's National Institute for Early Education and Research to produce a policy brief on Building Early Childhood Facilities. Despite having been written five years ago, it is nevertheless an extremely timely document. As Rhode Island explores systems and strategies for improving the quality of early learning programs across the state, this issue brief can help inform ways to carve out the resources needed to improve facilities for young children. The brief outlines strategies for successfully financing, designing and developing high quality preschool facilities, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each policy option. Download the PDF to read this informative report.