UCDC Developments
September 2012
Boy with Car
UCDC Developments




I'd like to welcome the many new families to the UCDC family.  We are excited and happy to have you with us. This is always a bittersweet time for the teachers and staff at the Center, as many of our children who have been with us for some time have left to move on to Kindergarten.  It is a time of change and transition and it does take time for  children to get acclimated to classrooms and form relationships with their new teachers.  But ultimately, they do, as the teachers are quite successful at helping them to adjust and gain a sense of belonging.  Please feel free to ask questions and visit so that you too begin to develop relationships with the teachers and staff at the Center.  Our open door policy encourages families to spend time with us when it works for their schedule. We adopt this policy as opposed to imposing certain times or requirements for volunteering.  We welcome you to join us for lunch, come and read a story, or do a small activity with your child's classroom. 


This is also a time when we will begin to have more University students completing observations and spending time at the Center to meet class requirements.  Students have required clearances and are supervised at all times.  We welcome the opportunity to provide an excellent environment for them to learn about children and teaching, with the support of classroom staff.   Also, we've said goodbye to some of our staff and have welcomed new teachers into the program. These transitions also require time for the new adults to get acclimated and get used to our curriculum and philosophy. 


We are very excited about all of the changes and the opportunities that come along with them.  We look forward to getting to know everyone better and wish everyone a successful and smooth transition into our UCDC family!




Mary Beth 



"Change is inevitable, growth is intentional."     

-Colin Wilson  


In This Issue
The Importance of Sleep
Song Lyrics - I've Been Working on the Railroad
UCDC Philosophy Explained - NAEYC Accreditation
UCDC Reads
UCDC Spotlight on Staff - Substitute Teachers
KidStuff Coupon Books
UCDC's DPW Inspection
Constant Contact
Parking Lot Changes
The Importance of Sleep
By Christa Penrod, Toddler 3
Toddler Bed


The importance of sleep is a universal topic. In every classroom, teachers and parents discuss children's sleep habits at home and at school. When children wake up and are well rested, they are ready to begin their day. It is days like these that children are said to have optimal alertness. Optimal alertness is the state in which we are most receptive to and interactive with our environment. Infuse the importance of sleep with daily attention to it and you will likely have a happier, more self-assured, less demanding, and more sociable child. In addition, healthy sleep positively affects neurological development and appears to be the right medicine for the prevention of many learning and behavioral problems (Weissebluthh, 1999).


Requirements-Children simply must have a sufficient amount of sleep to grow, develop, and function. How much is right for your child varies by age. Remember, each child is unique and individual variation occurs. The following are sleeping recommendations set by the National Sleep Foundations (National Sleep Foundations, 2011). Newborns (birth to 2 months) 12-18 hours, Infants (3-11 months) 15 hours, Toddlers (1-3 years) 12-14 hours, Preschoolers (3-5 years) 11-13 hours, and School Age children (5-10 years) 10-11 hours. And just reminder adults should aim for 7-9 hours! Naps are another important factor when considering the number of hours of sleep your child is getting. The key to good napping can be as simple as setting up a good nap routine and sticking to it. Some parents believe that if they skip a nap then their child will go to bed earlier and sleep longer. This is almost never ever the case! The child becomes overly tired and upset and thus does not nap well. For infants, watch for fussing and rubbing eyes, and put your babies down to sleep while they are sleepy but not asleep. This will help them sooth themselves into sleep. For toddlers and preschoolers, napping can become a big challenge. Sticking to a napping schedule may be difficult, so consider other peaceful activities for your child. Let your child read books or play quietly in his or her room. Parents are often surprised by how quickly quiet time can lead to sleep.


Establishing a routine or schedule- Research indicates that one of the key factors to promoting healthy sleep habits at a young age (6 weeks) is the establishment of bedtime routine or schedule. While some parents adhere to time based schedule, others families with a more varied work schedule must rely more on creating a bed time routine. Pleasant bedtime routines ease the transition from being awake to being asleep by helping children feel more secure and comfortable about what they can expect at the end of every day. Schedules or routines evolve and change as children grow and mature but a predictable sequence of events should be followed most nights. For example, for infants it could be a bath, bottle, and rocking. By raising your baby's body temperature slightly, you'll make them prone to sleepiness. Also, playing with bath toys in the warm water is very relaxing. For toddlers, it could include brushing teeth, reading a book, cuddling, and then bed time. For preschool children, it could mean a family walk, a bath, quiet activities, and lights out. Always remember with toddlers and preschoolers that it is important to give a warning in advance that is its close to the time of winding down. With older children, it may be possible to use a standard "five minutes" approach but with younger children you many need to use activities as a form of association that it is time to wind down. Some parents use clocks or times as a "third party" way of announcing bed time. Children are far less likely to complain or argue with a clock then with an adult. Some parents offer a small snack before bedtime such as a small piece of cheese and some whole wheat bread or milk. The light protein and carbohydrates will promote steady blood sugar levels. As long as the activities happen in a consistent method, that's all that really matters. Children from birth to preschool thrive on the structure and are more responsive to transitions when they know what's going to happen next.



Song Lyrics
I've Been Working on the Railroad


Preschool 2 can't stop humming this tune as they play through their day. It's definitely a favorite with their children, so take a minute to check out the lyrics and maybe you'll find yourself singing it with your children too!


I've been working on the railroad

All the live-long day.

I've been working on the railroad

Just to pass the time away.


Don't you hear the whistle blowing,

Rise up so early in the morn;

Don't you hear the captain shouting,

"Dinah, blow your horn!"


Dinah, won't you blow,

Dinah, won't you blow,

Dinah, won't you blow your horn?


Dinah, won't you blow,

Dinah, won't you blow,

Dinah, won't you blow your horn?


Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah

Someone's in the kitchen I know

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah

Strummin' on the old banjo!


Singin' fee, fie, fiddly-i-o

Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o-o-o-o

Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o

Strummin' on the old banjo.


This song is also a very familiar nursery rhyme in Japan, with the same melody but different title and different lyrics. It is known as "Senro wa tsuzuku yo doko made mo (線路は続くよどこまでも?)", meaning "The railroad continues forever". The Japanese lyrics describe the happiness of the journey.


UCDC Philosophy Explained - Answers to Common Parent Questions 
By Jamie Wincovitch, Education Coordinator


Parent Question: I know that UCDC is a high quality center with credentials, but what exactly is NAEYC Accreditation?


NAEYC Accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. This accreditation system began in 1985 in order to raise the level of quality in early childhood programs. It is a national, voluntary accreditation system that has very high professional standards for early childhood education programs.


NAEYC Accreditation has many benefits for the families and the staff of the facility. It helps to create a stronger team of teachers, administrators, and families. Accreditation also improves the standards for the overall program in curriculum, programming, physical environment, and teaching credentials (to name just a few).


UCDC has been a NAEYC Accredited Center for many years now and we are currently in the process of renewing our accreditation, which is a daunting, yet reflective task for the teachers and administration. Over the next 16 months, we will be working toward this goal with a positive attitude. Parents/guardians may be asked to help in this process through the completion of surveys and other information gathering processes.



UCDC Reads by Toddler 3   
Snip Snap! What's That?
 by Mara Bergman 
Snip Snap! What's That? By Mara Bergman has become one of the children's favorite stories. The story is about this crocodile that gets loose and finds its way into this families' apartment. The children are very
frightened for half the story and hide but then "pluck up their courage and
gave a great shout" and tell that crocodile that they are not welcomed
there anymore. Our kids love to repeat the lines in the story. "Were the
children scared?" says the teacher and the children scream, "You bet they
were!" This story contains lots of rhyming and memorable words
which make it a very popular book amongst toddlers and young preschoolers. 


UCDC Spotlight on Staff  
Substitute Teachers 


Take a minute to get to know some of our substitute teachers in this month's Spotlight on Staff. These teachers are extremely dedicated and flexible individuals and we value their work every single day!


What is your most cherished childhood memory?

  • "Every summer when I was a child I swam for our community swimming team.  I loved being in the water and still today I love being in the pool." - Anna
  • "Playing in the woods behind my house for hours on end, no matter what the weather." - Kate

If you weren't a teacher, what would you be?

  • "I think I would want to work for a nonprofit that helped empower girls and women." - Anna
  • "If I wasn't a teacher, I would be a graphic designer." - Kate

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

  • "I like many quotes about family. They always remind me how much I love my family." - Anna
  • "'Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.' -Einstein.  Imagination is so important, because it can transport you to different places, and plant the seeds for things to come." - Kate

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

  • "I am most proud of leading a happy life. The older I get the more I learn about what makes me truly happy!" - Anna
  • "Teaching English in Japan for a year." - Kate

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

  • "I loved pancakes and still do!" - Anna
  • "My favorite food as a child was Mexican - tacos.  Or calamari." - Kate

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

  • "I wish I could play the piano." - Anna
  • "If I could learn anything it would be how to ride a motorcycle." -Kate

What chore do you absolutely abhor?

  • "I hate cleaning the bathroom." - Anna
  • "I hate mopping the floor." - Kate

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

  • "I take a walk in the park with my husband." - Anna
  • "Reading." - Kate

What story does your family always tell about you?

  • "I was the oldest girl of 10 cousins and I started babysitting them at a young age.  My family jokes that I have been a Mom since I was 5." - Anna
  • "I will answer to the best of my ability.  My mom had a lot of stories about me, and this one is probably the least embarrassing. When I was in elementary school, my mom read an article about the self esteem of young girls and then went to talk to the principal about whether or not she should be concerned.  The principal said not to worry, for a week or so before, when asked to write about our role model, I had written about myself." - Kate

What is your favorite childhood toy?

  • "I loved my Cabbage Patch Kid doll named Tom." - Anna
  •  "My favorite childhood toy is my bear, Bouie.  Every time I have moved to a new city, he has been brought along." - Kate


We hope you enjoyed this edition of UCDC Developments. We work really hard to make it the best. If you have any feedback on the newsletter, please let us know. We want to make it something that you want to read!
KidStuff Fundraiser
KidStuff Logo

Thanks for participating in the KidStuff coupon book fundraiser.  We really appreciate your support.  Money earned will help us replenish our book selections for the library (which families are encouraged to borrow from), buy new puzzles for the center, and to change the look and feel of the small gym to make it more child friendly, in addition to purchasing new equipment.



UCDC could use scrap paper from any University department to use with the children. Outdated letterhead or other unused paper would be greatly appreciated!
Kudos to UCDC!!!
UCDC passed our annual Department of Public Welfare inspection with flying colors! 

The representative had VERY kind words to say about our program, the organization, and the teachers.
Constant Contact

We have had some requests from alumni to continue to receive our  UCDC Weekend Events after they have withdrawn from the Center. If you are interested in this as well, please let the office know and we will add you to our Alumni List!
Parking Lot Changes
In response to the recent accidents in our parking lot, we consulting with Risk Management at the University. 

In response to their recommendations, we will be adding a cross walk to the parking lot as well as a speed bump. In addition, we will have lines painted in the parent parking area (along the playground) in hopes of increasing the safety for children, staff, and families. 

We have also installed two additional security cameras in our parking lot as another helpful measure.
In addition to these changes, we are again asking for your patience in the parking lot. Please be careful and aware when pulling in and out of the lot and of parking spaces and make sure you are holding your child's hand while in our lot.
Thanks for your immediate attention in this matter!