Living Arts Weekly: New Opportunities

May 3, 2020

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.

Years ago I was mentoring a lovely mother who was enrolled in one of our LifeWays training programs, not as a professional caregiver or teacher, but as a mother interested in learning more about child development.  Brilliant, educated and a social activist, she found herself a bit surprised that she wanted to be home with her children.  As I got to know her and her husband, it became clear that he also wanted to be home with their children.  There was a creative tension around this question, and I was privileged to witness how they worked it out by creating a program where they cared for their own and other people’s children together.

Parents, many of you, have found yourselves in a unique situation created by the shelter-in-place order.  You are home with your children.  ALL   THE   TIME!  While some of you may be counting the days (or months) until you may return to work and the children to their school or care programs, others, perhaps more than we would expect, are recognizing that being home (and the strength, intelligence and creativity that entails) is surprisingly satisfying.  Not necessarily easy, but mentally and emotionally satisfying.  Moreover, you have discovered that you are good at it and that your children are also thriving.

An upside of this most surreal of times most of us have experienced, is that we do not have to go back to who we were or what we were doing.  If ever there was a time to dig deep inside the pockets of our heart and soul and open to whatever still, small voice is nudging us in a new direction, this would be that time.

There are some estimates that up to 50% of child care programs may not be able to re-open after this huge cultural shift.  And it is hard to know or imagine how the face of schools will be changing with new regulations.  For parents who do choose to return to jobs outside of the home and who also value the possibility for their children to continue to have a natural, wholesome, safe and non-institutionalized life, they will be seeking care that reflects those ideals.

We would like to help.  We want to help you figure out how to create your own home program if that is your desire and thus, also help those who will be seeking care for their children. We want them to feel confident in your commitment, your education, your loving devotion, and your capacity to provide for their children.  For years we have been told that there needs to be a LifeWays-style childcare home in every neighborhood.  We couldn’t agree more.

First, we are offering a new dimension to our popular online course Creating Home Away from Home: A Course for Home Childcare Providers.  This course is normally offered as an “on-demand” course, which means participants can take it whenever it fits into their schedule. We recognize that many of you would prefer to explore the idea of starting a home program with a group of people who are all working through the course together — there is much more of an opportunity to discuss your questions and encourage each other!  Enroll for the special GUIDED session of the course taking place from June 3rd to July 11th, and you will receive personal guidance throughout the course as well as benefit from the dialogue of questions and reflections among all the participants.  You’ll receive the book Home Away from Home, and those who finish the course will receive a certificate for 25 hours of continuing education.  As a bonus, your program, once developed, will also receive a free one-year listing on our website (a $99 value, which is the entire price of this course!)  Click here for more details.

We are also offering a 25% discount on two of our basic books, Home Away From Home and Life is the Curriculum, which describe the ideals and practices represented in a Living Arts approach to care.  We can with full confidence say that this is a leading-edge approach to care supported by the deep research of brain development and the fundamental needs of children.  Click here to order your copies — sale ends May 16th.

We look forward to encouraging you and helping you take the next steps in your work with families and children.

With much love,

Cynthia Aldinger

Founder of LifeWays North America

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe