Volume 01 | November 2020
Partnering with Orange County Early Childhood and Education (ECE) providers and families, to support social-emotional competence and build nurturing environments focused on positive mental and behavioral health for all children.
November 2020 Newsletter
Dear Start Well Community,
Thank you so much for joining us! This month we are focusing on how gratitude and secure connections with others can contribute to having a positive outlook!

Welcome & Thank you!
Welcome to all of the programs that have joined the Start Well Community!
Abiding Savior Lutheran, Michy's Reggio Family Childcare, Boys and Girls Club Laguna Beach, Monica's Daycare, Chiquitines, Prestige Preschool, Shoreline, Excel Montessori, Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda Preschool, OC Toddler School and Daycare, Boys & Girls Club Huntington Valley Learning Center, and Boys & Girls Club Huntington Valley Robert Meyer Preschool! We are also so grateful for all of our past and current programs, thank you so much for partnering with us!

Open Enrollment
Start Well only has a few spots left, for open enrollment! If your early care and education program would like to partner with an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
email info@startwelloc.org to enroll!

Important Dates for Start Well Providers

Follow us @startwellorangecounty on both Facebook and Instagram
How can focusing on gratitude and secure connections contribute to having a positive outlook?
As we wrap up 2020, we at Start Well wanted to say we are GRATEFUL for you!
Gratitude is an essential element to positive mental health. It can change our perspective, open our eyes to the good around us and bring calm feelings.

Aesop, a Greek philosopher once said, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Gratitude is an attribute we can learn and it can be turned into positive mental health habits. A person who is grateful, sees the good and is aware of what makes them happy, can turn disappointments into learnings and challenges into steps along their path.

As childcare providers, we have the opportunity to model this by speaking thankful words, practicing gratitude through our actions and interactions with others, living grateful lives and choosing to connect on an appreciative level with those around us. Simple choices like using positive feedback, modeling kindness in the classroom are great ways to build gratitude in your environment.

  • Read books that focus on gratitude, helping others, and thankfulness
  • Demonstrate and practice helping others in the classroom environment
  • Talk about social situations in which children can support one another
  • Create a classroom thankful pumpkin
  • Use positive feedback
  • Gratitude scavenger hunt
  • Gratitude, thankfulness journals
A grateful pumpkin is a wonderful seasonal activity that can help children and adults visualize what they are grateful for! Practicing gratitude with the children in our care helps support connections and a positive life outlook.
Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
is a story about showing appreciation to a neighbor and pointing out the greatness in others!
Early Childhood Mental Health Resources
The resources attached all focus on how to support children in building gratitude and how secure connections contribute to having a positive outlook. These resources focus on building social and emotional capacity and supporting mental health.

Community Resources
Pretend City Children's Museum
Pretend City Children's Museum is now open! Look for Start Well flyers in the new
Mind and Body Studio which focuses on the social and emotional wellness of young children and their families! The Mind and Body studio gives families the space to talk about self regulation, emotions and social wellness!

Help Me Grow
Help Me Grow (HMG) and Start Well work together to make sure that programs and families have connections to direct referral services. HMG connects children and their families to developmental services to enhance the development, behavior and learning of children.

Triple P Positive Parenting
The Triple P Positive Parenting Program is a world-renowned, effective, evidence-based parenting education program.
Providers please share with your parents! Start Well providers can access Triple P resources online, reach out to your Start Well consultant for more information!

Teacher and Program Highlights
Jonathan Navarrete
Preschool Director
Boys and Girls Club, Laguna Beach

How does your program come together to practice gratitude?
Our program serves a community that is mainly from low socioeconomic status. Seeing the smiling faces or simply the smiling eyes due to the face masks on the children and the families we serve, that may not otherwise have access to affordable, quality early childhood education and care is a constant reminder as to why we are here. It’s humbling to know that the relationship with our preschool families is a symbiotic relationship because we cannot thrive without the other.
How does practicing gratitude contribute to maintaining a positive outlook in teaching and mental health?
Having gratitude for the things in our lives that we do have and keeping strong connections with the people around us allow us to reduce our stresses and fears and help create strong support systems, which are important for our mental well-being.  
Jonathan Navarrete (second from the left) and Boys and Girls Club, Laguna Beach preschool staff!
Our Team
Leadership Team
Program Manager,
Sadhna Matai
Content Expert & Training Specialist,
Sandy Avzaradel
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
Hannah Thompson
Hazel Vickers
Kim Versluis
Rhysa Suh
Veronica Oliver
Funded by: OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Behavioral Health Services, Prevention & Intervention, Mental Health Services Act/Prop 63