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Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great holiday! The new year often brings hope and positive thoughts towards the upcoming year and all the possibilities. Once again, we find ourselves entering a new year with a lot of chaos and uncertainty. The ongoing stress, both mental and physical, of Covid; the staffing shortages; and the continued rising prices of goods make being hopeful and positive a challenge. So . . . what do we do? We make time for ourselves and our staff to focus on self-care. We stop, take a deep breath, and remember why we do the work we do. We give grace – to ourselves, our teams, our families, and our children.

As I was struggling to turn this note back around to a positive perspective, I got a little help from Renae Barnett, our Infant Toddler Specialist: “As I visit child care centers all over North Central Oklahoma and look into the faces of our future generation, I remember what is good, what is positive, and that there is hope." She also quoted the late great Whitney Houston - "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

A belly laugh from a baby, a new discovery made by a curious toddler, a crazy imaginative story told by an excited three-year-old, all of the hugs and sloppy kisses that come with the work - that's where we find our hope for brighter moments and brighter days.

Take some time to stop and appreciate those little moments, and take time to stop and appreciate yourself, your teams, and the wonderful and important work you do every day.

For some help with self-care, Heather Cruz and Tracy Hinton have in-person and virtual trainings available to support you and your staff. There are also numerous webinars available on CECPD. To rediscover those little moments in the classroom that make it all worth it, Renae Barnett or Heather Cruz would be happy to come work with you and your teachers.

Please reach out to us and let us know how we can support you.


Kelsey Thomas

NC R&R Manager


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