Alleviant/Navigant Online Voting Contest – Help us win $5,000!!

As part of Alleviant’s Community Connections Day where we had over 20 volunteers at CFCF for 8 hours to help beautify our Center inside and out, their corporate office -Navigant will make a $5,000 donation to five participating organizations. Recognizing that each of the charities they supported is a worthy recipient, they are engaging their employees as well as the public to vote for the five winners!!!!

Voting starts Tuesday, May 5 and is open until 5:00pm CST, Friday, May 15. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 19.

If you click on the link below, it will take you to the voting site. Follow the steps and be sure to check the box next to Center for Children and Families!!! You can vote once per device (phone, computer, tablet, etc). So share this link with friends, family, co-workers and visit local libraries. link:

You can imagine what impact $5,000 would have to improve the quality care and education we provide to children here at CFCF!! So please VOTE!!!


Alleviant Volunteer Day 4/25/15

Alleviant Volunteer Day 4.25.15
As part of Alleviant’s Community Connections Day where we had over 20 volunteers at CFCF for 8 hours to help beautify our Center inside and out. Not only did they donate funds to purchase Playground Rubber Mulch, Inside they scrubbed and deep cleaned the kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, hallways, walls, and floor boards; clean all the carpets; spackled and painted some walls. Outside they helped with weeding the front flower beds; planted a tree, bushes, and tulips, and laid wood chips. Also outdoors, they helped prepare an area for the Center’s future Outdoor Nature Classroom. For this they tilled and weeded the 1,500 square foot area for the child-led garden and messy play area, laid landscaping fabric, playground safe rubber mulch, and pea gravel.

CFCF, on the forefront of quality in early childhood education

CFCF has some exciting news to share.with its families!  We wrote for the 2014 Enhancement Grant through the Department of Social Services, and were chosen as one of the recipients for the grant!!  Centers throughout the state of South Dakota could apply for grant money to enhance their Centers including security enhancements or enhancements towards the quality of services provided.  The Center for Children and Families wrote for monies to bring an outdoor classroom to the Center.  In collaboration with the company Nature Explore, the Center will turn the area next to our outdoor garden into the CFCF Outdoor Classroom!

Why an outdoor classroom?  Outdoor classrooms have been extensively researched in relation to children’s connections to their current indoor curriculum, and outdoor classrooms have been found to significantly enhance children’s sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning.  CFCF is dedicated to creating a holistic experience for your child.  It’s because of our dedication to you and your family, that we researched the outdoor classroom concept and are now able to bring it to you! 

We are clearing space NOW and have purchased items necessary to create the space!  We are looking for parent volunteers to put together the wooden benches and discovery table for children once they arrive.  If you are able or interested in lending a hand to this project, please let Jessica know!  You can email her at or call the Center at 624-8270!

Shop with AmazonSmile and help the Center

Click the link above to find out how you can shop and help the Center all at the same time. With the AmazonSmile foundation, 0.5% of your eligible purchase price comes back to the Center! You can go to this website and search for the Center for Children and Families!!

Help us continue to provide high quality home made foods with fresh produce and quality school age programming for your children.

Go online TODAY and sign up!!!

Updates to the website

Come check out the updates to the website:) We’ve added pictures of activities and new information on our menus and school age summer program. Did you know our school age program is full!!!!??? We are so blessed with great kiddos and families here in all of our rooms. It’s shaping up to be a great summer at CFCF!

We want all of our families to utilize the website to stay current on what’s happening at the Center as well as to access information such as weekly newsletters and monthly menus. What other information do you want to access to??

Updates for summer school age program kiddos!!!

Dear Parents:

Welcome to the 2014 Summer School Age Program!!!! Ms. Heather has been working hard on developing an engaging and fun curriculum for your school age child. The program has taken off this year with 9 children signed up for the program. The capacity for the program is 10, so that only leaves one spot availabe:) This is more than anticipated, and we are so excited to have all these kiddos here to learn and have fun!

We wanted to share some information with you in regards to your first few days in the program! Please bring sunscreen and bug spray for your child. Please also fill out an emergency contact card, if you haven’t already, as Ms. Heather will use this information when she travels off-site. Also we will need an application for Free and Reduced Meals on file for your child. All of this information will be provided to you on Tuesday May 27th, 2014 when you arrive at the Center with your child. Please return the information as soon as possible!

Children will also need a bus pass and pool pass by Monday June 2, 2014 as they will begin their off-site travels at that time.

Ms. Heather will be sending home weekly newsletters about what the children will be doing that week. We will provide folders for each child as a way to correspond with parents regarding important information and to transport projects home at the end of the week. Please return this folder every Monday.

Please let Jessica or Heather know if you have any concerns or questions as we move forward with the program. Our goal is provide a high quality educational experience in a fun environment. Let us know how we are doing!!!

See you all on Tuesday May 27th, 2014!

Ms. Jessica and Ms. Heather

Why play outside isn’t the same as play inside

Now that the weather is starting to warm, we can all take a breath of fresh air, literally! I think we have all heard the phrase, “let them run” when referring to a need to get children outdoors, but what else is going on in their little minds as they explore the world around them?

The outdoors offers to children what the indoors often times cannot! Children are able to move their bodies in different and often times larger ways. They develop confidence in their bodies when they master these new skills. Children also have more space to work in teams with other children which allows for team problem solving and group work to take place. What looks to many people as children simply “playing” outside is really them learning and manipulating their enviornment in a positive educational way. A quality outdoor space gives children the right messages. If they have an area where they can work on and develop their skills and have mastery over these skills, children associate that outdoor area in a positive way.

What is found in nature that compliments the indoor curriculum? The better question would be: what isn’t found in nature that can compliment an indoor classroom? Shapes, colors, and textures that are taught in a book or through classroom discussion can be OBSERVED occuring naturally in the outdoor environment.

There has been an alarming trend in todays society with the use television as babysitters or teachers. Younger and younger children are mastering the ipad, kindle fire, iphone, or other electronic device faster than their parents. While limited use of these devices can be beneficial as a supplement to real learning, oftentimes we see these used instead of meaningful interactions with others or in the natural environment. Studies have been done that show children who are engaged in quality outdoor time are less overweight and use less mood altering medications that children who are reported to remain indoors more.

The Center for Children and Families is committed to providing quality outdoor interactions with children so much that we developed and maintain a garden each year for children to grow their own produce. The Center has also supported staff in working towards their own fitness and outdoor activity goals through their involvement in the Great Strides program through Sanford Health!! So this summer, let them run and learn and grown and explore:)

Sneak Peak at Summer Programming at CFCF

We’ve been working diligently to develop an outstanding summer curriculum for our preschool children at the Center. We are sharing just a sneak peak with you today and announcing that the theme for this year is…..”Inspired by Nature” Stayed tuned for more details and information. We have a few summer slots available, but they are filling up quickly, so spread the word about the rich curriculum CFCF has and the amazing staff!!!!