Windham Area
Family Child Care
     Grant Facilitator                          Member at Large                  Website Coordinator
 Jenn Zator 228-3299​                Andrea Martin 742-2817            Kelly Lisee 228-1718

Put a photo of something here.
OUTINGS(MUST sign up at meeting or with Kelly @

Wednesday, October 10th @ 10am - South Windham Fire Department

Wednesday, October 31st @ 10am - Trick or Treat Parade at St. Joseph's Living Center
     *Cut Off Date to sign up is 10/11
      *Donations of goodies will be collected at the 10/11 meeting


Thursday, October 11th @ 7pm
Windham Hospital Desrosier's Conference Room
Workshop:  Neuroscience of Early Childhood presented by JoAnn Robinson
Refreshments will be provided by:  Lindsay & Tia
Raffle prizes will be provided by:  Jenn & Tia

​​​​​Thursday, November 8th @ 7pm
Windham Hospital Desrosier's Conference Room
Workshop:  Taxes Plus presented by Bart Goodin​​
There is no meeting in December.


This information is updated monthly.
​All available spaces are subject to change.


​Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 2 - Misty Berthiaume - Misty Berthiaume's Home Day Care & Preschool   - 456-9952
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 2 ​- 
Linda Coulombe - Linda's Day Care - 456-2352
Infant spots: 0
 - Over 2 years old spots: 1  - Alice Hazzard - Red Thread Day Care - 456-1640
Infant spots:
2 - Over 2 years old spots: 4  ​- Nancy Lemire - Extended Family Day Care - 456-8799
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots:
1  - Liz Schwanke - Footprints Child Care - 423-0089

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots:
 1 - Melanie Gagnon​ - 450-6645
Infant spots: 0
 - Over 2 years old spots: 0 - Cathy Robacker - Out Came the Sun Child Care - 208-0374 

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 0
  - Tia Fricano - Forever Friends - 456-1176

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 0  ​​- Shelley Hickey - Shelley's Family Day Care - 228-1935
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots
: 0  - Pat Kitchen - Pat's House Child Care - 228-8481
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 0
  - Jennifer Zator - Jenn-Jenn's Place - 228-3299

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots​​​: 0 - Andrea Martin - 742-2811

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots:
1  - Kelly Lisee - Small Wonders Day Care - 228-1718

Infant spots: 0
 - Over 2 years old spots: 1  - Lindsay Hayes - ​​​​​​​​​Happy Hoppers Day Care - 377-3125

Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots:
2 - Rebecca Berta - Becky's Lil Sprouts - 908-5603
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 0 - Gloria Carabillo - Just Like Home Day Care - 884-8465​
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots:
1  - Karen Germain - Germain Family Day Care - 267-6873
​Infant spots: 0
 - Over 2 years old spots: 1 - Deb Pothier - Munchkins Unlimited Family Daycare - 267-6778​​​​
Infant spots: 0 - Over 2 years old spots: 0 - Shelly Walters - Country Kids Day Care - 537-5455​


​​​​                                                                                                                                                .
STEAM Bins (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)



Questions or concerns regarding this site can be directed to Kelly Lisee at
                  377-3125                                    450-6645                             456-9952                                228-1718       
  Lindsay Hayes  
                                       WINDHAM AREA FAMILY CHILD CARE ASSOCIATION
                                                                REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
                                                                           September 13th, 2018

The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm. Members present were; Co-Presidents L. Hayes and
M. Gagnon, Secretary K. Lisee, Treasurer M. Berthiaume, J. Zator, T. Fricano, P. Kitchen, D. Pothier,
K. Germain, G. Carabillo, R. Berta, S. Walters, S. Hickey, L. Coulombe, L. Schwanke, and C. Robacker.

• New Board Election Results
    o Co-Presidents: Lindsay Hayes & Melanie Gagnon
    o Secretary: Kelly Lisee
    o Treasurer: Misty Berthiaume
    o Grant Facilitator: Jenn Zator
    o Member at Large: Andrea Martin

D. Pothier motioned to accept the reports. M. Berthiaume seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

• Card from Tia thanking the association for the gift she received when she stepped down from the Executive Board
  ​after years of service.
• M. Berthiaume passed around a flyer from Thrive with free trainings available and the dates of numerous
  ​workshops. Members were asked to look at the workshop topics and mark any that interests them. Marked
  ​workshops included; EPI Pen Refresher Training and CT ELDS Introductory Training.
  ​Further discussion was made regarding epi-pen and med certification.
• R. Berta inquired as to whether WAFCCA would like to join TCCA in co-sponsoring a free workshop on the topic
  ​of Trauma in Young Children. This would be a 4 hour course on a Saturday. It would count toward anyone’s
  ​Care4Kids training hours. As a co-sponsor we would provide refreshments and door prizes. Thrive would provide 
  ​the venue (Windham Hospital Desrosier’s Conference Room), the speaker(s) and all advertisements. The
  ​workshop would have a 20 seat maximum. A decision to co-sponsor the workshop was agreed upon. K. Germain
  ​will speak with the coordinator from Thrive, Kathy Wilby, to see if the date of Saturday, 11/17 is still available.
• K. Lisee passed around a brochure from CTAEYC (CT Association for the Education of Young Children). There
  ​is a two day professional development event happening Friday, 10/19 and Saturday 10/20. Visit
  ​for more information or to register for the event. Further discussion was made about the topics of the workshops
  ​they will have. Members were asked too look at them and mark any that interests them. Marked workshops
  ​included; Talking with Your Hands (ASL), Dietary Behavioral Health: Feeding Special Needs Right, Circle Time:
  ​​I​t’s More than Calendar and Weather, Road Trip into Great Classroom Environments, and Technology in the Early
  ​Childhood Classroom. The board will keep the brochure on file and refer to it as needed.
• J. Zator reported that Angela Fournier has free books for us. She needs a count of how many kids each provider
  ​has ages 0-5 years old. A piece of paper was passed around for members to write down their numbers.

• Field Trips
    o St. Joseph’s Living Center – Exercise with the Seniors 10am every Thursday. No need to sign up, just show up
       ​and join in.
    o Farm or Orchard? Discussion was made regarding the annual trip to Hurst Farm. The Board was looking to
       ​move it into the end of September, however Hurst Farm does not start their fall field trips until October. Our
       ​group already has 2 formal field trips in October, so we were entertaining the idea of doing another farm venue
       ​or an orchard instead. M. Gagnon will look into other alternatives for the last week in September, such as
       ​Robb’s, Scotts or Roseberry Farm.
    o Wednesday, October 10th @ 10am – South Windham Fire Department
    o Wednesday, October 31st @ 10am – Trick or Treating at St. Joseph’s Living Center
        Donations of treats are needed & can be brought to our next meeting on 10/11
        Signup deadline to go on the field trip is 10/11
    o L. Hayes reported that she has been looking into visiting the Windham Senior Center the week of Veteran’s
       ​Day. The only date the Senior Center has available that week is Tuesday, 11/13. A suggestion was also made to
       ​look into the VFW. L. Hayes will continue to research and report back to the group.

• Quality Enhancement Grant
    o Our association was approved for $5250 in grant funds for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
        Field Trips/Outings: $1000
        Workshops/Professional Development: $1500
        Instructional Supplies: $2750
    o Instructional Supplies suggestions
        Discussion was made to bring back any of the previous items purchased for those who wanted an item that
           ​they were unable to receive. No members mentioned any items they wanted. Other items suggested were;
           ​​felt boards, felt sets/stories, and career gear dress up with a book.
        Highlights Magazine – K. Lisee will send out an email to all members. Anyone interested in receiving 1
           ​copy of the Highlights magazine per month needs to respond by 9/21 and K. Lisee will forward the   
           ​information to L. Hayes to order. As is understood, the magazines will start in December for 12 months.
        STEAM Bins – Discussion was made to improve the Insect and Water bins with grant funds and/or provider
    o Workshop suggestions
        Paperwork/Contracts
        Best Practices in running a day care business
        Marketing
        Behavioral Issues
        Providers stress relief and mindfulness

• WCMH donation for use of our meeting space at Windham Hospital
    o Monetary, children’s books, games/activities, etc.?
    o Lindsay reported that the hospital no longer has a Children’s Ward, however donations to the Emergency
       ​Room with children’s items would be appreciated. Further discussion was made to make a monetary donation
       ​of $50 to the hospital and let them decide how to best use the funds.
• School Readiness Council member needed. WAFCCA currently holds 2 seats on the council. J. Zator will fill one
   ​of these seats as the Grant Facilitator, however another member (Preferable from Willimantic/Windham) needs to
   be available in the event that she cannot attend any given meeting. M. Berthiaume volunteered as a probable back
   ​up person. J. Zator will check with Angela Fournier to see if the 2nd seat can be a rotating person as needed.
• STEAM Bins
   The Board reported that we have 3 sharable bins that can be borrowed.
        o Water Exploration
        o Insects and Life Cycles
        o Dinosaurs
    A sign up sheet was passed around for members to pick dates they would like to borrow the bins. This list will
    ​also be posted on the website. It is the member’s responsibility to deliver the bin to the next person on the list, on
    ​or before the date requested. Please check the website to see who to deliver it to. Anyone not at the meeting
    ​wishing to borrow one of the bins can email K. Lisee at to sign up.
• Finding Substitute Providers – At this time our group does not have a “resident substitute”.
   K. Lisee put together a list of OEC licensed substitutes in the surrounding area. S. Walters volunteered to look   
   ​into the people on the list and find out if they would want to become a member of our group or if they are willing
   ​to substitute for our members in need.
• Fire Drill Calls – It has become an annual tradition during October’s Fire Safety Month to practice fire drills. A
   ​sign up sheet was passed around for members who would like to receive a surprise call for a fire drill so they can
   ​practice for an emergency with their day care children. K. Germain volunteered to make the calls.

Discussion was made regarding certificates for our workshops. K. Lisee will design a certificate that can be handed out to members after attendance of each workshop. In providing these certificates we hope to be able to use the workshop hours as part of required training for Care4Kids.

Raffle winners were; R. Berta, T. Fricano, K. Lisee and D. Pothier.

Birth-3 with Sue Churchill – CANCELLED by speaker

The meeting adjourned at 8:40pm. The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, October 11th, @ 7:00pm. Workshop topic: Neuroscience of Early Childhood presented by JoAnn Robinson

Respectfully submitted,

Kelly Lisee
WAFCCA Secretary

Members can borrow the 3 STEAM bins WAFCCA owns.
     *​Water Exploration
     *Insects and Life Cycles
​​​If you'd like to sign up to use them, email Kelly @  The available dates are listed on the sign up sheet posted here., (dates subject to change).  When you are finished with the bin it is your responsibility to get it to the next person on the list, on or before the date they signed up for it.  If there is no one on the list immediately after you, you can return it to a board member for storage.

​Benefits of Membership

Support Group - Our support group offers opportunities to share ideas, activities, concerns and enthusiasm with other members.
Child Care Referrals - The association assists providers with filling open child care positions and refers parents to quality child care.
Professional Development - Free workshops and training are offered in all areas related to child care.
Enrichment Grant - The majority of our workshops, special events and field trips are funded by the Town of Windham's Enrichment Grant, therefore we do not need to do any fundraising.
Special Events & Field Trips - Special group activities are planned monthly for the day care children of members. For example: visits to see Santa & the Easter Bunny, children's museums and travelling classrooms to name just a few.
Willimantic Public Library Book Bag Kits - The children's department has book bags with several themes, props & suggested activities available to members.
Conference and Workshop Information
Support and Collaboration from the Windham Family Resource Center
Community Service Projects
Meeting Information
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you feel isolated in your job because you rarely have someone to share your thoughts with (talking to your toddlers doesn't count)?
Do you feel over-whelmed and under-appreciated?
Do you need ideas to fill the day?
Do you wish you could enjoy your job more, but you don't know how?
Do you want to take the children on free filed trips?
Do you want to further your knowledge on early childhood education?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please come join us for 3 complimentary meetings. Meetings are held at Windham Hospital in the Desrosiers Conference Room on the 2nd Thursday of the month with the exception of July, August and December. Each meeting includes a short business meeting, a workshop pertaining to child care, a raffle and refreshments. In January and June we meet at an alternate location for an informal dinner with friends.  We'd love it if you joined us to see what we're all about.
* * * To see the SEPTEMBER Meeting Minutes, scroll to the bottom * * *

​The words ‘art’ and ‘craft’ are often used interchangeably in preschool settings. However, they are, when really considered, very different. I KNOW this topic is a hot button for many.

Lisa Murphy, aka the Ooey Gooey Lady, often says in workshops and her podcast that we need to consider 3 things when we plan (and this does not apply only to Arts & Crafts):

1. What are we doing?
2. Why are we doing it?
3. Who is it for?

My goal here is two-fold:

To let you know where I stand on the topic and why and
To encourage us all to think deeper when it comes to doing activities “for parents”, or even for us, because we think it’s a cute activity or for children and think about developmental skills required for each before we plan them.

Art and Craft Defined
ART: Per Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, art is defined as a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.

It is also defined as the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.

Oxford Dictionary (online) further defines it as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

CRAFT: A craft is defined as skill in planning, making, or executing and as an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill

A cursory reading of these definitions seems to suggest they are similar. They are the act of creating. However, there is a difference.

Did you see the difference in the above definitions?

The primary focus of art is creative imagination. The primary focus of a craft is, in my interpretation, a set outcome. (The final product is planned, then made and then executed upon). In addition, it requires manual dexterity.

So..What’s the Difference?
The difference is Art is subjective. Crafts are objective. What does this mean in preschool? It means that art is subject to the preschooler’s creative imagination and the outcome is his/hers whereas crafts have a prescribed outcome before the activity begins.

Is One “Better” Than the Other?

I don’t think ‘better’ is the word I’d use. I would say that art (when open-ended) is more developmentally appropriate for preschoolers.

There are many foundational skills preschoolers need to develop before going to elementary school. Providing art activities that allow them to use a variety of tools and mediums as well as explore and investigate how these tools and mediums work will help them develop in the top domain areas.

Crafts do not, most times, provide this ability.

Why not? Well, because the focus is using set materials in a set way to provide a set outcome.

The goal of doing crafts, in most cases, is for the parents (specifically so we have an object to send home).

Certainly, if all children are making a bunny out of the materials provided, each bunny rabbit will look a bit different.

Perhaps the color of paint they choose is different or the eyes are placed closer or further apart. However, in the end, there will be 16 bunnies that look strikingly alike.

The skills children learn doing this (and the ones many educators state when providing craft activities) are fine motor development, following through on a task and following directions.

I agree that crafts do provide an opportunity to work on use these skills, however, they do not help children develop these skills. To me, that is the biggest difference.

It takes fine motor control to place small items on a craft. Crafts do not help preschoolers’ to ‘develop’ fine motor skills. They require preschoolers to have some level of mastery in fine motor control. Art activities, when open ended, allow the opportunity for children to develop these skills.

In my years working with preschoolers, I plan art activities 98% of the time with the goal of providing opportunities for the children to develop and strengthen areas such as fine motor control, eye-hand coordination and creative thinking.

I do, on occasion, plan crafts for special events (such as Mother’s & Father’s Day and Christmas) and provide the activity as an open choice for children. There are also times when children want to make something that looks like a specific “thing”. When this is the case, I do provide the materials that child needs to create the said “thing”, however, I do not plan it as the art activity for all the children for the day.

To read more about this topic, you can go to the article on the website where I go into more detail about the differences between subjective and objective activities.

We'll talk more about art and preschoolers next week!

Until then,
Happy Planning!

​to the website!
  Melanie Gagnon
  Misty Berthiaume
Kelly Lisee