On-site child care is coming to WoodlawnMANY PARENTS WHO...

Family forum

December 17, 1991|By Mary Maushard

On-site child care is coming to Woodlawn

MANY PARENTS WHO work at the Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn will be breathing easier in the new year -- they'll have a new on-site child-care center for 110 children of employees.

Dedicated yesterday, the Social Secur-A-Kiddie Center will open Jan. 6. About 90 children are already enrolled, says Frank Battistelli of the Social Security Administration's press office. The center will use about 10,000 square feet for eight classrooms that will accommodate youngsters from 4 months to 5 years of age.

The center will operate daily, except federal holidays, from 6:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Parents will pay weekly tuition of from $75 to $100 a week, depending on a child's age; two meals and two snacks are included in this fee.

This is the second on-site child care center opened by the SSA in the last nine months; the first opened last spring at the Metro-West offices in downtown Baltimore. It has space for 93 children; about 60 are enrolled, Battistelli says.

School-age child care

Caring for children after school -- and during school vacations -- worries many working parents much of the time. Even when school-age child-care programs are available, they may not fill a child's needs or fit a parent's schedule. Project Home Safe, a national program to help children 5 to 13 and their parents deal with these issues, offers help in its most recent booklet, "Matching School-Age Child Care with Your Child's Needs." The booklet spells out the "essential principles and elements" of school-age child care and then shows parents how to find them in existing situations.

Project Home Safe, sponsored by the Whirlpool Corp. and the American Home Economics Association, has published a series of brochures aimed at alleviating some of the problems associated with children staying by themselves. Among the topics are "Assessing Your Child's Readiness for Self-Care," "Preparing Your Child For Self-Care" and "What If I'm Home Alone."

The individual booklets are free; the project also has bibliographies addressing concerns of parents and child care professionals. To get a copy of "Matching School-Age Child Care with Your Child's Needs" or other booklets or to discuss problems of caring for school-age children, contact Project Home Safe at 1-800-252-SAFE. Individual booklets are also available by mail from Appliance Information Service, Whirlpool Corp. Box 85, St. Joseph, Mich. 49085.

Pregnancy cautions

Pregnant women are advised not to let the holidays interfere )) with their good health and the health of their unborn babies. Pregnant women should take special precautions not to overindulge during holiday celebrations, says the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality. They should resolve, instead, to avoid all alcohol, to eat healthy foods and avoid rich party fare, to exercise regularly and to get plenty of rest, despite the holiday hustle, advises the commission.

Appropriate gifts

If you're still shopping for children's gifts, here are some tips for what is appropriate for different age

children from the Maryland SAFE Kids Coalition:

* For infants: rattles, squeeze toys, stuffed animals without button eyes and blocks of wood or plastic.

* For 1- and 2-year-olds: cloth, plastic and cardboard books, sturdy dolls with non-removable parts and large, lightweight toys.

* For 2- to 5-year-olds: building blocks, crayons, finger paints, clay and outdoor toys.

* For 5- to 9-year-olds: bicycles, crafts, roller skates, puppets, jump ropes, card games, sports equipment.

* For 10- to 14-year-olds: computers, table and board games, microscopes, outdoor sports equipment.

Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Notices about events must be received two weeks in advance. Send them to: Mary Maushard, Family Forum, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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