Mural in the lobby of Union Settlement Association
Earlier this year, HMESF hosted our very first round table collaboration with early care providers at Union Settlement. We were thrilled that there was a representation of many of our 21 centers across Manhattan. It was our objective to hear what the early care providers’ challenges were amongst all the changes in the early care landscape. Since we strive to improve the quality of education and early care for children ages 0-3, it was essential to determine how HMESF could positively impact and support our centers moving forward. The providers agreed our Library Initiative and book per kid donations have been well received, as books are essential to engage children from an early age. However, it was immediately clear that the early care programs were not getting sufficient professional development, and hoped HMESF may provide a workshop for their staff.
As a result of the round table requests, HMESF hosted its first Professional Development day last week. Ellen Jaffe Cogan from early education consulting firm, Hilltop Early Childhood Services, led the half day training. Eager early care providers from Northside Center, Safe Horizon, BronxWorks, Sunshine Learning Center and Mother Hale Learning Center filled the community room of Union Settlement Association in East Harlem on a sunny Thursday morning. These dedicated early childcare workers participated in a dynamic dialogue during Ellen Jaffe Cogan’s two-part presentation on utilizing walls to contribute to learning and science exploration through play.