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In order to provide the best opportunities for your children, it is often the case that parents need to work full time. Working full time means giving your trust to the childcare provider. In one family from rural Vermont, the closest high quali

In order to provide the best opportunities for your children, it is often the case that parents need to work full time. Working full time means giving your trust to the childcare provider. In one family from rural Vermont, the closest high quali

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Dana commented on The Village Supper

Thanks for your questions, Natasha. Here are some thoughts....
Group size- this would be inclusive of as many people possible, additional space would be sought as needed! The more the merrier, and hopefully this connectedness of community members would spread beyond just the meals.
Ratio of community members to facilitators - there would need to be facilitators to help with food, child care, and the program topic. This would likely become a narrow ratio. Keeping the content reactive to our societal needs/interests would entice both program facilitators and parents to attend. The early childhood world involves so many domains- health, mental health, education, criminal justice, politics, funders, anyone who comes in contact with a family has an impact on the early childhood years, therefore, it may be easy to recruit and maintain a ratio of less than 4:1.
Meals- outreach would be done through the recruitment/advertising of the meals. Families would be encouraged to submit ideas, thoughts, requests. We all know that if people are involved with the planning process, their buy-in is much greater- hence return participants.
Great idea on cooking with children. There could be a facilitator to involve kids in the cooking. Another great idea for a touch would be "Healthy Cooking"- this would be a hands in cooking class, and all participants would go home with groceries and recipe to re-create the meal at home.

From what I gather by working with providers, the potentials hooks are
1) MONEY- the early childhood workforce are underpaid, and many leave these positions in order to earn higher wages elsewhere.
2) Scholarships- Licensing regulations and standards for high quality programs require teaching degrees and licenses. These are costly, and many cannot afford to pursue these with the salary they make.
3) Accreditation is important, and having a stamp of quality approval is important, but again, the workforce needs an incentive beyond just providing high quality programs (though they do care about this, if it is costly to become accredited, they lose interest in pursuing.
4) Services: Volunteers to help in programs, or to help with center needs is greatly needed and appreciated.
5)In-kind support from businesses or other organizations by means of services or materials
6) Grants- most providers are eager to apply for grants, and do not mind the additional work that goes with implementing a grant funded program
7) Network connection- Being a part of a network, peer learning, and group goals help raise morale.

Yes, great point. The hope is that this network would be strong and producing opportunities for specific volunteer needs, as well as generating enthusiasm for lasting change to occur through the network and community members. A starting point, with a mission that reigns human interest in, based on each community. People will be more apt to volunteer if there is organization and intent behind it.... right?