Refreshing Your Bulletin Boards

A colorful bulletin board display.

Whether your program is celebrating a particular season or focusing on a special topic, bulletin boards offer the perfect canvas to showcase children’s creations or brighten your space to welcome and engage the families and children in your program.

Consider materials you may need. Plastic tablecloths from a dollar store, inexpensive flat sheets and wrapping paper can create colorful, textured backgrounds.

For borders, try layering several colors to add depth, or fasten items like playing cards (think Uno or Go Fish) or themed paper plates (think kids’ birthday parties) to highlight a bulletin board that may focus on math, the daily schedule, the ocean, or sports.

If you choose to decorate a bulletin board as a display, children can proudly show their work and feel like they’re part of a community, while parents can have a chance to see what has been going on in their child’s classroom.

You may wish to include a dedicated community resources bulletin board for the families in your program. Consider adding current information about the local library, health care services, and resources for children with disabilities.

Seasonal or holiday bulletin boards may need to be updated more often, but they give you the opportunity to have a visual and possibly interactive complement to lessons you have planned. A fall theme, for example, can have a movable thermometer to help teach about weather, display colored leaves handmade by the children, and have felt (material) scarecrows that can be taken apart and dressed up as an activity that works on motor skills.

Children with Disabilities and Individual Needs

What is an Inclusive Child Care Program? What are a program’s legal responsibilities?

Inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children, with and without disabilities, and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential. The defining features of inclusion that can be used to identify high-quality child care and education programs are access, participation, and supports. (Adapted from: DEC/NAEYC. (2009). Early childhood inclusion: A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.)

In an inclusive program, children with and without disabilities have access to the same routines, play, and learning experiences. Providers in inclusive programs learn to recognize children as individuals with unique strengths, needs, abilities, and interests. They continually make creative accommodations and modifications to routines, play, and learning activities so that each child benefits from participation.

The Maryland State Department of Education is dedicated to making high-quality child care and education programs accessible to all children. Therefore, aspects of quality related to inclusion are directly incorporated into Maryland EXCELS standards.

A Parent’s Guide to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Child Care provides families with information about how the ADA applies to child care programs.

How do I find a program that will meet my child’s needs?

Regardless of a child’s ability or disability, choosing child care can be challenging for families. Children with disabilities, according to the ADA, cannot be excluded from programs solely on the basis of their disability. It is important that families have the proper information and know the right questions to ask when looking for care for a child with special needs. Maryland Family Network offers LOCATEa free service that helps families find child care based on their child’s specific needs.

Can my child receive special services or therapy while in child care?

It is highly recommended that families involve their child care provider in the planning and/or implementation of their child’s Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) so that their child receives the most comprehensive and complete system of services.