a silly name – a serious message

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The Press Enterprise (Jan 2005)

Message on child care hits home

The Press Enterprise
By Melissa Eiselein

MORENO VALLEY – Lisa Murphy cracked jokes about children and child-care providers, but she was serious about her message Saturday at Family Service Association’s fifth annual Child Development Conference.

“Education is not the filling of a bucket. It is the starting of a fire,” Murphy told the audience of about 800 child-care providers during the opening presentation at Vista Del Lago High School in Moreno Valley.

“If you spend all your time worrying about what (the children) need to know next year, guess what? You’re going to miss what they need to know this year.”

Murphy, 36, of Rochester, N.Y., is a former day-care provider. She now spends most of her time speaking and writing books on child care. She encouraged her audience to be flexible with their daily schedule and to take time to build relationships with children, and make each day a fun and memorable learning experience.

The all-day conference included three sessions, each with 19 workshops that covered topics such as early literacy, physical fitness, and learning through art and music.

This is the fifth year family day-care provider Rosie Kerns, 53, of Riverside, attended the conference. She said it’s a great way to keep on top of the latest trends in early childhood education and an invaluable tool in staying motivated to do her job.

“We are doing the most important job there is. We’re caring for children 0-5 in our homes,” Kerns said. “If you don’t love what you do, you shouldn’t be a child-care provider.”

Like Kerns, Catalina Santana stayed in the main auditorium after the opening presentation to hear Murphy talk about creating a child-centered environment. Santana, 42, of Moreno Valley, oversees early day-care providers at Family Service Association’s Box Springs center, which cares for children through age 3.

Kerns and Santana listened as Murphy explained the difference between controlling the learning environment and stifling the learning process by controlling the child.

“She is an awesome teacher. She allows the kids to be kids,” Santana said.

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