UCDC Developments

April 2013

In This Issue
UCDC-Style Meals
In Grandma's Arms Book Review
Illness Policy at UCDC
Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport Song Lyrics
Spotlight on Staff - Preschool 3
Plant Sale
The delivery for the plant sale will be on Saturday, May 4th. Look for information soon about volunteering to help on that day.

Staff Appreciation Dinner
UCDC's Annual Staff Appreciation Dinner will be held on Friday, May 31st at 6:00 PM at the Wyndham Hotel. This event is held to honor the staff of the University Child Development Center for their hard work and dedication to young children and families. Please plan on attending!

T-Shirt Sale 
Thanks to those that participated in our T-Shirt Sale Fundraiser!


The warm weather if finally here! At UCDC, we are committed to making sure children get to be outside at least once a day, weather permitting. Each classroom has a morning and afternoon playground time, plus open access to walks at any time.


As I was thinking about the importance of this, I came across this interesting article and thought I'd share...


Reconnecting Families and Nature


We all have those memories from childhood: jumping into a cool lake on a hot summer day, intently watching ants on the march or spending hours just laying back and looking at clouds. And whether we realized it or not, those moments in the outdoors helped shaped our views on the world around us. But those kinds of memories are fading fast for many young people today. The statistics are alarming: in a typical week, only 6 percent of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own and kids 8 to 18 spend an overwhelming 53 hours a week using entertainment media. 

Getting kids back outside is more important than ever - for the sake of the kids and the future of our planet. Spending time outdoors at a young age is critical to fostering a healthy conservation ethic. That's why the Conservancy is working all around the world to help create the next generation of conservationists.    

Read on...



There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors with your family. I hope you take advantage of this beautiful weather and get outdoors! 



Mary Beth

UCDC-Style Meals

by Hannah Garard, Infant 1


"Our children's health and well-being are dependent on our commitment to promoting food access and good eating habits at home, at school and in the community." - Rod Blagojevich


Our philosophy at UCDC states that we "extend a family approach that is fostered by supporting the developmental needs of all children."  We take this seriously and apply this to all aspects and events of the daily routine, including meal times.  During breakfast, lunch, and snack, we try our best to bring familial structure and nurturing into the routine.  Everything we do has a purpose, or many purposes.  The structure, the conversation, and the food all link to one purpose: To encourage healthy choices, promote self-regulation, motivate positive social behaviors, and support motor skills and refinement.


During meal times, we sit together, teachers and children to eat as a family or community.  We pass the bowls of food around the table and, if age appropriate, have the children serve themselves. Having the children serve themselves promotes muscle control, as well as self-esteem and self-regulation.  Children have an understanding of what foods to eat and how much in order to give their bodies the energy they need throughout the day.  Some children's eating habits may be more sporadic than others, or than what we may be comfortable with, but this behavior is quite normal. We encourage children to try all the food we offer them, but have the understanding that not every child will eat everything we offer.  For this reason, we offer them a variety of food, all of which is healthy, leaving the decision of what to eat to the children. Having them exposed to a variety of foods gives them a greater template on which to expand their food preferences. Recently, changes were made to our lunch menu. These changes may be causing some children to be reluctant to eat or even try the new components of the meal.  This is completely normal and will decrease as the exposure to the foods increases.  It can take as many as 10-15 exposures to new foods for a child to accept them.  When teachers and peers eat these foods with them, it is an encouragement and helps ease the fear of trying something new. Soon enough, these new foods will be an accepted part of the meal rotation, and may even become a favorite!


As teachers, during mealtimes, we model appropriate behaviors and conversation and encourage those behaviors in the children.  For example, the passing of the bowls of food promotes awareness and consideration for the other people at the table.  Not only are the children learning how to take care of themselves, but to also consider the needs of others.  By prompting them to pass the bowl around the table, we remind them of this.  Other behaviors we model are taking appropriate sized bites and also appropriately paced bites, taking turns in the group conversation,

including everyone in the discussion, and trying all parts of the meal. This modeling has undeniable results and really helps maintain an enjoyable and productive meal time.


Our goal is to always have consistent, healthy food options available to the children, prepared and served in a healthy and family-style manner in order to instill healthy habits and diets in the children starting as young as infants.  Our practices have purpose and our purpose is nurturing the lives of all the children at UCDC.


Reference: Autonomy at Mealtime: Building Healthy Food Preferences and Eating Behaviors in Young Children. Catherine Mogharreban and Marcia Nahikian-Nelms.

UCDC Reads by Infant 1
In Grandma's Arms by Jayne C. Shelton, Karen Katz 

This is one of the many favorite books that we read in Infant One.  It is a little bit long for some of the younger children but they like the colorful illustrations.  The book has a nice flow to it as it goes through the story of a child spending time with her grandmother.  Dreaming of wonderful places and then falling asleep in her grandmother's arms, where she feels safe and loved.  It is one of those books that we read over and over again.

UCDC Philosophy Explained
By Jamie Wincovitch, Education Coordinator 

Parent Question:
I am sometimes unsure of when my child is allowed to be at UCDC when they are ill. Can you please clarify your policy?


As parents, we all know that children in childcare get sick a lot! They are exposed to a larger variety of illnesses and germs than children who aren't cared for in a group setting. At UCDC, we take many precautions in order to keep everyone well including rigorous and frequent hand washing, teaching children proper hygiene practices, and sanitizing surfaces regularly. Even though we follow these rigorous guidelines, children still get sick. In fact, it's not uncommon for a child enrolled in childcare to get 8 to 12 illnesses per year! That is a lot compared to an adult who is typically sick 1-2 times per year.


As you can see, it's a constant battle to keep everyone well and one very important precaution that we take that I did not mention is that we exclude children who are ill from childcare. After hearing the amount of illnesses your child may get (multiplied by the number of children that you have), the number of absences that a parent may have to accumulate is unspeakable. As it may be frustrating to take off so much time from work, it is what is best for all of the children in the Center.


Click here for our full illness policy.

Song Lyrics by Infant 2 
Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

Take a minute to read the lyrics to Infant 2's favorite tune!


Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport


Watch me wallaby's feed, mate

Watch me wallaby's feed

Ay look they're a dangerous breed, mate

So watch me wallaby's feed.

All together now


Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down


Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl

Keep me cockatoo cool

Don't go acting the fool, Curl

Just keep me cockatoo cool

All together now


Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Take me koala back, Jack

Take me koala bear

He lives somewhere out on the track, Mack

So take me koala bear

All together now


Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down


Mine me platypus duck, Bill

Mine me platypus duck

Don't let it go running amok, Bill

Just Mind me platypus duck

All together now


Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

One more time now


Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down


LAST CHANCE!!!!!!!!!

Tie me kangaroo down sport

Tie me kangaroo down

Spotlight on Staff
Preschool 3 Teachers

The teachers in Preschool 3 are a dedicated crew. Take a moment to read about their interests and aspirations.


If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?

  • "I would want to be a bird, a cardinal." - Cathy
  • "A koala bear because koalas spend almost their whole day sleeping." - Corrie
  • "A bird" - Joan

What is the last book that you read?

  • "Help! Thanks! Wow! The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott" - Cathy
  • "I actually can't remember. I don't read a lot but one book I love is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling" - Corrie
  • "Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama." - Joan

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

  • "I would want to be able to fly!" - Cathy
  • "Teleportation so I could be anywhere in the world, yet confidently know that I have access to a donut within seconds." - Corrie
  • "Speed!" - Joan

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

  • "Meryl Streep" - Cathy
  • "I'm going to say Anne Hathaway because sometimes people say I resemble her." - Corrie
  • "Halle Berry" - Joan

Which is the one television character that you simply adore?

  • "Tina Fey but I also love the child who plays the youngest child in the family (Brick) on the show The Middle" - Cathy
  • "My favorite is probably Lindsay Weir (Freaks and Geeks). Other favorites include Liz Lemon (30 Rock), Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project), April Ludgate (Parks and Rec), and Hannah and Shoshanna (GIRLS)." - Corrie
  • "Special Agent Jethro Gibbs" - Joan

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

  • "Apple cinnamon oatmeal and green tea" - Cathy
  • "Cinnamon toast Eggo waffles, a banana, and orange juice (unfortunately no pancakes)." - Corrie
  • "Oatmeal, eggs, tea, and an orange." -Joan

What would you do if you had a time machine?

  • "I would like to go back and talk with my grandmothers who died when I was young.  I would also like to meet my great-grandmothers." - Cathy
  • "I think the best use would be to attempt to intervene in world atrocities. But, ideally, I'd go see a ton of bands perform." - Corrie
  • "Travel back to the year that I was born." -Joan

What was your most recent traveling experience?

  • "Oglebay in Wheeling, WV--they have a good spa and walking trails." - Cathy
  • "In September, my sister, my dad, and I went to visit my brother in Denver where he is completing an allergy fellowship." - Corrie
  • "It was crowded and very uncomfortable." - Joan

If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?

  • "I would share it with my family, give to my favorite charity, buy a house with lots of trees around it and take an extended vacation to Rome-London-Paris." - Cathy
  • "Share the wealth." - Corrie
  • "Share it with family and friends and donate some to charity." - Joan

What's your first memory of UCDC?

  • "I was interviewed by Mary Beth and Lora Johnson who worked in Kindergarten.  I thought that Mary Beth was the Director--she wasn't at the time.  I must have intuited the future!  I started part-time in the Kindergarten class that was a bit overwhelming but Lora and Stacy Lewis were great to work with!" - Cathy
  • "In 2005, while an undergrad at Pitt, I had to do observations of the kindergarten class at UCDC. Little did I know I'd be spending so much time here!" - Corrie
  • "Laughter and happy faces!" - Joan