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Big Bay Beginnings Pilot Program Underway for Children Ages 3-6

Big Bay Beginnings Child Development Center is now open for enrollment serving families with children ages 3 to 6. After obtaining a grant from the Administration for Native Americans in 2014, Big Bay Beginnings Child Development Center opened for business on March 1st of this year.

At Big Bay Beginnings our mission is to empower and strengthen children and families through education, self-awareness and by increasing opportunities in social, emotional, physical, and cognitive areas that are rich in culture. We believe children are naturally creative and curious individuals. We strive to provide opportunities to explore and experience the world around them. We respect diversity and strive to learn about the similarities and differences we share. We support the children as guides with an emergent curriculum that follows their expressed interests.

The classroom at Big Bay Beginnings is designed into learning stations that address the 5 developmental areas; movement & motor development, social & emotional, approaches to learning, cognitive, and language & literacy. These learning stations include dramatic play, library, creative exploration, writing, sensory table, blocks, scientific exploration, and mathematics.

Big Bay Beginnings uses Creative Curriculum which is inquiry based and child-guided; it focuses on the interests of the children. The curriculum adapts to infuse cultural material based upon the cultures represented in the child population. We use a multi-sensory alphabet program called Zoo-phonics. It teaches the children the letter sounds through movement and fun animal friends. Our daily rhythm is consistent, allowing children predictability and comfort for the space and expectations.

Dramatic Play Area

Christiana Smith is the Administrator at Big Bay Beginnings. She is working on completing an Associate’s of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education through the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and has a strong background in business management. Christiana moved to Seward in 2012, residing here with her family of four. Before moving to Seward she lived at a remote salmon hatchery in Southeast Alaska. There she homeschooled her son for two years, which set in motion her journey into early childhood education.

Carol Conant is the Lead Teacher for Big Bay Beginnings. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Montana-Missoula and currently holds a State of Alaska Professional Teacher Certificate for grades K-8. Her experience in the early childhood field, with the Infant Learning Program, as a childcare provider, and a community playgroup coordinator, inspired her to continue her education and is working towards her Child Development Associate Credential. Carol was raised in Seward and is where she and her husband now raise their three children.

Ari Schablein is the Teacher’s Aide at Big Bay Beginnings. She is currently working towards her Child Development Associate Credential. Ari was raised in Anchorage and moved to Seward in 2016 with her daughter. Before working at Big Bay Beginnings, Ari has worked in a Church operated nursery program and as a private child care provider. She enjoys attending early childhood workshops and bringing the knowledge she learns to the classroom at Big Bay Beginnings.

Big Bay Beginnings is a licensed Childcare Center with space available for up to 20 children. Now through August we have three options for care during our pilot program period to see how we can best meet the needs of the community of Seward. We offer Full-time and Part-time childcare.

Rates are as follows:
· Full-time childcare $850 per month
7:30 am to 5:30 pm
· Morning Part-time childcare $500 per month
8:30 am to 12:00 pm
× Afternoon Part-time childcare $500 per month
1:30 pm to 5:00 pm
· Childcare Assistance is Accepted

For more information contact Big Bay Beginnings at (907) 224-2677, located at 520 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664. We look forward to working with your family!

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