Start Right Child Care Centre
Quality Childcare for Healthy Growth and Development
38 Orfus Road North York ON M6A 1L6 ca
“Unrest of spirit is a mark of life; one problem after another presents itself and in the solving of them we can find our greatest pleasure”.
“Gwen Morgan, one of the true visionaries in our field, worked tirelessly for over four decades to provide better care for America’s children. Gwen died at her home in Lincoln, Massachusetts on September 4.
My first encounter with Gwen was when she agreed to serve as my Master’s Degree advisor at Lesley College in 1974. At a time when resources on child care administration were virtually nonexistent, Gwen and her husband Henry from the Harvard Business School, introduced me to the leadership and organizational theories of experts at Harvard, Yale, Stanford and MIT. She also recruited me to help her launch the Advanced Management Seminars for Day Care Directors, a three week summer institute at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. In these intensive seminars, Gwen pushed attendees to see themselves as leaders, not just administrators; provoked them with theories of staff motivation and team building; opened their eyes to the legal implications and requirements of their work; and had experts tutor them on becoming effective financial managers.
Gwen’s was a pioneering driving force in the arena of employer child care. In 1968, she started a groundbreaking employer sponsored child care program at KLH in Cambridge. Her influence in the business sector grew, leading her to co-found Work Family Directions where she was instrumental in the launching of the American Business Collaborative for Quality Dependent Care.
Gwen’s passion to uplift the quality of care for each of America’s children resulted in her becoming a leading proponent for sound licensing practices. In 1976, she was among the founders of the National Association of Regulatory Administrators. For many years starting in 1985, she published an annual comparative report on states’ licensing practices — exposing states with low standards.
To provide greater support for parents in their search for quality child care services, Gwen was a leader in the movement to establish child care resource and referral agencies. Her 1972 evaluation of the nation’s 4 C system was instrumental in guiding the course of the R&R movement. At Wheelock, she pushed the envelope by expanding her Advanced Management Seminars to include a week for child care resource and referral directors.
Most importantly Gwen was a leading advocate for improved child care funding and policies. Her advocacy for improved child care services in Massachusetts led to her being appointed the first director of the Massachusetts Office for Children in 1972. Her influence on the national scene was strengthened when she helped found the Day Care and Child Development Council of America, the leading national advocacy organization of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Her publication in 1992 of “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Child Care Universe,” was a shrewd analysis of the early childhood policy environment. Her conceptualization of the “child care trilemma” of affordability, accessibility and quality, concisely captured the tradeoffs in advocating for effective child care policies.
With all her great achievements, Gwen was primarily a behind the scenes leader. Possibly her greatest contributions were the countless people she took under her wing and mentored into major roles in our field. When Bonnie and I decided to launch a management magazine for early childhood leaders, Gwen was our main source of inspiration and encouragement. For decades, she continued as a great idea generator (“Roger I think you need to do an article on….”), connector (“You guys really need to know…”) and cheerleader. Even in her final years she remained a supporter. Bonnie remembers a call from her a few years ago when she said, “Now here is what I think I need to write for you next.”
Over the years we have encountered hundreds of leaders in our field who love to share stories about how Gwen got them started, rekindled their enthusiasm, pointed them in new directions, or connected them with people who advanced their careers. She was always ready to help, never said an unkind word (except about politicians), and approached most challenges with a unique perspective. When you were discouraged she could either bring you back with some wise advice or by applying her great sense of humor.
She was in no way pretentious, very approachable, and comfortable with herself. For many she was known as the early childhood bag lady for all the bags of books, magazines and reports she was always carting about. It seemed that no matter what problem you brought to her, she would be able to pull out just the resource you needed from one of those bags.
Gwen was a unique builder of our profession — she coupled a willingness to work extremely hard (usually with scant recognition or remuneration) with an uncanny ability to apply systems thinking to move a very diverse and disorganized field forward”.
View this article online at ChildCareExchange.com.
Quality Childcare for healthy growth and development
Music Helps Infants Communicate
NAEYC Features Ruby Bridges
I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it”. Harry S. Truman
A fascinating article, “15 Adorable Facts about How Children Learn“, in Mental Floss magazine, offered this “adorable” insight:
“A 2012 study of 1-year-old infants found that interactive music classes lead to better communication. The babies learned to play percussion instruments and sing songs with their parents in an early music class. Compared with a control group, these children showed a greater sensitivity to musical structures and tones, along with better early communication skills like waving goodbye or pointing to an object they wanted.”
Expert Advice for Assessing Infant-Toddler Programs
“Caregiver-child interactions are critically important in promoting cognitive, language, and social-emotional learning in young children. With examples and detailed explanations, The Best for Babies illuminates the behaviors and interactions that teachers or care providers should provide for the children in their care. The book offers an easy-to-use checklist to assess each teacher-child interpersonal relationship and the ways caregivers offer learning and living experiences for young children. Teachers and caregivers can use the checklist to grow in their professional expertise and careers as they continue to guide children’s learning and well-being. Directors and mentors can use the information gained by using the checklist to help teachers and caregivers optimize the outcomes for each child”.
There is no failure except in no longer trying. “-Elbert Hubbard”
“On November 14, 1960, surrounded by armed U.S. Federal Marshals, Ruby Bridges became the very first black student to attend William Frantz Public School in New Orleans and the youngest foot soldier of the Civil Rights Movement.
View a brief movie clip about Ruby Bridges
View full-length Ruby Bridges movie
Ms. Bridges will be a featured presenter at the 2015 Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education for Young Children in Orlando. In her presentation she will highlight the impact her teacher had on her life, as well as diversity and inclusion in education and the collective impact teachers can have if they organize together.
NAEYC is offering ExchangeEveryDay readers a discount on their registration fees for the conference. To take advantage of this, go the Conference Registration page and enter the code EXCHANGE15 when prompted”.There is no failure except in no longer trying. “-Elbert Hubbard”
Gwen Morgan, 1925 – 2015