Become a Member of The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry!

What is CA ECE Workforce Registry?

The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry is an efficient, web-based system designed to verify and securely store and track the employment, training, and education accomplishments of early childhood care and education (ECE) teachers and providers. Participation in the California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry provides you and your staff the opportunity to be part of this statewide data system for all early care and education professionals.

Click here to learn more about the California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry.

What are the benefits to being a member of the Registry?

As a participant in the Registry, participants will be able to:

  • Build a professional profile that can be securely accessed and updated anytime.
  • Electronically store education, training, and employment and professional growth accomplishments.
  • Search and sign up for training workshops and professional development opportunities which are automatically stored on your Registry profile.
  • Create a resume and share professional qualifications.
  • Search for jobs using the Registry Job Board.
  • Be recognized as an Early Care and Education professional.

How to Create a Profile on the CA ECE Workforce Registry?

Creating a profile is easy. Click here for a step by step guide on creating your profile. Visit www.caregistry.org to create your account today!

Gma Village Offers New Child Care Options!

The Gma Village team.

BANANAS is so excited to announce that we have wonderful new friends in our building! Not only is the team from Gma Village great to have around, they also do spectacular work in the community. We know that finding and paying for child care is a challenge for many families. It can be such a struggle that some parents have to choose between going to work or being home to raise their kids. Luckily, Gma Village has new child care options that benefit everyone!

This pilot service connects local grandmothers with families looking for child care. Founders Johnna Flood, Catalina Garcia, and Maggie Ollove met while doing research for T-Lab at Tipping Point seeking ways to combat poverty. The three came together to focus on the issue of child care and soon began holding workshops in West Oakland to hear how parents were managing their child care needs. The team learned that many low-income parents struggled to find child care during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends when most centers and daycares are closed. They also learned that the high cost of care was an obstacle for parents who were struggling to afford basic necessities such as rent and food.

During their outreach in the community, Johnna, Catalina, and Maggie also discovered that the families who were able to find consistent, reliable care were mostly relying on the same family member: Grandma. This inspired them to talk with Oakland grandmothers to hear their perspectives. It turned out that while some grandmothers were feeling a bit overtaxed, many others actively wanted opportunities to connect with the community and felt a desire and ability to provide care for other children. As a result, the Gma Village was created. 

To become caregivers within the Gma Village, grandmothers will attend an orientation and trainings, including a workshop on health and safety. Parents will then connect with these grandmothers with the help of Gma Village and their portfolio of providers. It’s a win-win! 

“This will have an impact on three different generations,” said Maggie. “Parents will have child care so they can work or go to school or just have a reprieve. Grandmas will gain more recognition, more appreciation as well as supplemental income, and kids will have safe, loving care.”

We are thrilled that this concept is now being piloted and are so glad there are new child care options for the community. To learn more about the Gma Village, contact the team at thegmavillage@gmail.com or 510-545-9057.

 

Jobs for Nannies & Babysitters Are Now Online!

Holding Hands

Big things are happening at BANANAS! Today we are excited to announce the launch of our brand new Online Jobs Listings Board, a feature that directly connects parents with in-home caregivers. For over three decades, parents have come to our office to hang up their job postings on the board in our lobby. It’s where nannies and babysitters visit daily to peruse the opportunities, and now parents have the ability to post directly on our website.

With nearly 13 percent of preschoolers being cared for in the home by non-relative caregivers, the challenge of finding the right nanny or babysitting can be overwhelming. This is especially true when choosing someone to care for an infant. We are proud to have been the dependable place parents have come when looking for child care in Northern Alameda County for 40 years and are overjoyed to be sharing this new technology with our clients.

Says Development & Communications Director Tara Bartholomew, “We receive calls daily from parents looking for nannies and babysitters, and they know BANANAS is the trusted place to go. Over the past year we have worked diligently to foster a strong online presence and this is yet another step for us to better serve families.”

To post a job announcement, parents simply fill out the details of the position and click submit. Once it’s approved, it will be published on our website and remain there for 30 days (or until it is marked as filled). Job seekers can easily view all of the listings and get in touch with parents directly.  It’s easy, convenient, and free. Be sure to check out this user-friendly innovation and get connected with our child care community!

BANANews: Week in Review and Fun Things to Do

Welcome to Friday! If you’re looking for free events and resources, you’ve come to the right place!

THIS WEEK

After observing Memorial Day on Monday, we started Tuesday on a high note and published the Summer Edition of What’s Happening for Parents. This special issue of our newsletter includes information about our upcoming workshops and also invites readers to check out the bright and exciting world of BANANAS on Pinterest. We highlighted three of our favorite boards:  Activities for Baby, Parenting Like a Pro, and Playing Is Learning. For fun development ideas, handouts on parenting, and creative crafts that inspire learning, be sure to give them a look.

NEXT WEEK

There are still a few spots left for our popular Positive Parenting series beginning on Monday, June 1st.  RSVP today to learn practical tips for raising compassionate, resilient children. If you’re a new parent and you’re heading back to work or could just use some support in finding the best child care fit, sign up for Choosing Infant Care on June 11th.

IN THE COMMUNITY

Saturday, May 30th, marks the second Love Our Neighborhood Day, a free festival on San Pablo Avenue between Oakland and Berkeley. Prepare for an afternoon of family fun! On Sunday, May 31st, check out the Oakland Book Festival, which will include participation from Too Small to Fail (an amazing resource for families with babies!), Children’s Fairyland, and the Museum of Children’s Arts. Then head over to the Bay Area Book Festival, a weekend event in Downtown Berkeley on Saturday and Sunday, June 6th and 7th, where children’s authors— including Judy Blume!—will be in attendance. Don’t miss these FREE literary events that will excite children’s desire to #TalkReadSingPlay!

Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you on Monday! Don’t forget to stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

Blog Special: In-Home Child Care, Background Checks, and Child Safety

When it comes to choosing in-home child care, safety is the number one priority. Parents want to ensure that the nanny or babysitter caring for their child is a nurturing, trusted individual with a verifiable record of safe practices. One of the best ways to screen potential in-home providers is with background checks. However, if you are searching for in-home providers through an online child care posting service and are opting to get a background check through their agency, it’s hard to know what the check will entail since not all screening procedures are the same.

There is only one statewide database with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI that is authorized to screen in-home caregivers and parents are encouraged to access this valuable resource. The database is called TrustLine and it is the California registry of in-home child care providers who have passed a background screening. All caregivers listed with TrustLine have been cleared through a fingerprint check of records at the California Department of Justice, which means they have no disqualifying criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California.

In an effort to ensure child safety and protect consumers, the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network sponsored a bill that would require all online child care job posting agencies who provide lists or profiles of in-home child care providers to offer clients more information about their background checks, such as what is and is not included in the check. The bill would also mandate that information about local resource and referral agencies like BANANAS be provided as well as details about TrustLine.

Parents, if you would like to check if a provider is registered on TrustLine, click here to get started. In-home child care providers, if you would like to register for a TrustLine screening, click here to begin the process.

TrustLine notes, “If a potential caregiver is insulted that you’ve asked [that they get TrustLined], or is unwilling to apply, you should be concerned about this person’s commitment to providing good care. TrustLine is continually updated. Caregivers who have committed a disqualifying crime subsequent to their clearance are removed. So, you should call periodically to make sure your caregiver is still registered. It’s the right thing to do.”

We agree! For more information about TrustLine, visit their website or call 1-800-822-8490.

Blog Special: 2014 Annual Report

The BANANAS team is a busy bunch and we’re so excited to share our 2014 Annual Report, which showcases how we serve the community all year long! Whether it’s through providing on-site QRIS coaching to child care facilities, supporting low-income families with child care subsidies, or offering no-cost workshops for parents and providers, we are dedicated to ensuring that families have access to quality care for their little ones. Check out a few highlights below!

In 2014, BANANAS:

  • Received 56,364 calls, in-person visits, and emails from parents and child care professionals for assistance on a variety of topics on how to care for children
  • Supported 781 low-income families and 1,298 children with $6,302,781 in child care subsidies
  • Offered 914 workshops for parents and 122 classes for child care professionals

Our focus is on supporting families and child care providers, and last year we had the privilege of watching our clients find success: parents enrolled their children in wonderful child care facilities, and family child care providers opened their doors as new business owners. Inside this Annual Report, you’ll hear the inspiring story of Denise Cusseaux-Vital, founder of Little Hearts United Child Care, who achieved her goal of reaching full capacity with the support of BANANAS’ staff. You’ll also get to hear from members of “The Bunch” directly, including Quality Improvement Coach Joan Suflita who lives by the motto: Together we’re better.

And along with a breakdown of how we’re funded and where we’re going in 2015, in this Annual Report you’ll also discover lots of ideas—such as Exploding Sidewalk Chalk and Baby Touch Collage—that support our philosophy that children learn best through play. So enjoy this colorful look back on the accomplishments of 2014 and learn about all the ways BANANAS serves our vibrant community!

 

Blog Special: BANANAS Executive Director Appointed to State Advisory Council

This month Governor Jerry Brown announced two very exciting new appointees to the State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care: Michael Olenick, CEO of the Child Care Resource Center in Southern California, and BANANAS’ Executive Director Rich Winefield! Says Rich, “This is great for BANANAS and for the resource and referral field. Along with Michael Olenick, R&Rs will have a strong voice at the table.” The advisory council makes recommendations on the future policy direction for early learning and services for young children, so BANANAS will have the opportunity to offer our unique perspective on issues regarding early childhood education, child care, and the importance of investing in kids.

Rich explains, “The governor is so effective and he is a great thinker about the future. While in the past he has not been strongly supportive of early learning and care for kids zero to five, it makes sense that he become a leader. He could use some friendly encouragement and that’s where I see my role.” Being on a panel with members of the California Department of Education, Head Start, and First 5 will allow BANANAS to weigh in on topics such as strategies to increase family-provider engagement and educational support for child development professionals. We look forward to keeping working families and children in the political spotlight!

For more information on the council, visit the State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care website.

BANANews: Week in Review and Fun Things to Do!

April is in full swing and there are so many family-fabulous workshops and events happening at BANANAS and in our community. Here’s the roundup:

THIS WEEK

April 12th through 18th marks the Week of the Young Child, so we joined in celebrating the wonder of early childhood with some new springtime build-together activities on our Crafty Kids Ideas Pinterest board, such as Paper Roll Butterflies and Ladybug Rocks. In the spirit of childhood joy, we talked all about toys in this week’s edition of BANANA Bites and offered some tips for which items are the best fit for different age groups. Be sure to check back next week for another parenting and early learning column where we answer YOUR questions! If you have something you’d like us to cover, email elyce@bananasbunch.org. And, if you didn’t read our April Newsletter, be sure to see all the free resources for parents and child care providers!

NEXT WEEK

We’re gearing up for the first of six FREE workshops in Booties Camp! Sign up today for Baby Language & Brain Development on Wednesday, April 22nd (bring your baby!), and on Thursday, April 23rd, we’re holding a great parenting workshop on Living with Ones and Twos (limited child care is provided for this workshop; call 510-658-7353 to reserve your spot).

IN THE COMMUNITY

To celebrate the Week of the Young Child, this Saturday, April 18th, families are invited to Early Childhood Family Fun and Learning Day with exciting workshops and activities from Raising a Reader, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Oakland Parks and Recreation, and the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network. Sunday, April 19th, kicks off a free Foster Family Fun Day at Habitot Children’s Museum. Come and make your own work of art! For child care providers, there is an Education for Change Info Session and Hiring Event on Friday, April 24th, where teachers can network and speak with prospective employers. And on Saturday, April 25th, Family Support Services of the Bay Area is holding a FREE Kinship Caregivers Conference for families to share the challenges and rewards of raising kin youth. Children are welcome to attend this event that includes lunch, raffle prizes, and educational workshops.

Have a great weekend, and remember to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

BANANews: This Week at BANANAS

Happy Friday! You are no doubt ready for the weekend, so to help you breeze through the day, here’s a roundup of this week’s highlights:

To kick off March we created a Dr. Seuss-inspired Pinterest board to commemorate the birthday of this classic children’s author. He would have turned 111 on the 2nd! March is also nationally recognized as Women’s History Month, so we compiled a board devoted entirely to the stories of fabulous, fierce women throughout history.

If you missed our latest editions of What’s Happening, check out the Parent’s issue and the Provider’s issue right here! You will find all of our upcoming March and April workshops such as What Great Parents Do, Supporting English Language Learners, and Living with Ones and Twos, and more; spaces do fill up, so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible. Child care is provided at many events too!

Next week we’ll be getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, so come back and visit us for the festivities. And, don’t forget to send all of your parenting and early learning questions to elyce@bananasinc.org so the Bunch can answer them in our weekly column BANANA Bites.

Stay connected online on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest boards, Instagram profile, and LinkedIn page!

BANANA Bites: How Can I Protect My Kids from Measles?

Welcome back to this week’s edition of BANANA Bites, where we answer YOUR questions about parenting and early childhood education. Today we’re addressing the very important subject of measles and how to prevent it from spreading to children. This is a must-read for parents and child care providers!

Dear BANANA Bites, 

I run a family child care here in Oakland and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to keep the kids in my program safe from the spread of measles. What are the best ways to do this and where can I find more information about this topic? Thanks in advance. 

– Provider Who Wants Measles Prevention

Dear PWWMP,

We absolutely agree about the importance of measles prevention and are so happy to address this topic. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), childhood diseases like measles can cause children pain and discomfort. These diseases can lead to doctor visits, hospitalization, and even death. The ACF recognizes immunizations as the best way to protect young children from 14 serious diseases, including measles. A recent announcement in conjunction with the California Department of Education, Early Education Support Division, notes, “Measles can be dangerous—especially for babies and young children. Measles spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection. To prevent measles, eligible children should be vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The measles vaccine has been used for years, and it is safe and effective. The ACF’s Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care consider it critical that children in programs are vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization recommendations.”

Recommendations from the CDC can be accessed here. This document includes guidance for child care programs to follow state and local immunization requirements and also discusses what to do if a case of measles occurs in your program.

One of the most important contributions child care programs can make is to reach out to parents. The CDC has also provided sample materials and articles to share with parents in newsletters, web pages, or other publications.

·       Immunization Protects Us All 

·       Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child 

·       Easy-to-read vaccination schedules in English and Spanish

Please share this information with friends and family members to help ensure all children are kept safe and healthy!

-BANANA Bites

If you have a question for the Bunch, please email elyce@bananasinc.org.