Littles, Love, and Learning
This spring, our Healthy Start Program staff highlighted the ‘1000 Books Before Kindergarten’ campaign and their mission to promote reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers while also encouraging parent and child bonding through reading. The team highlighted literacy activities through their book drop off visits followed up by virtual family visits and a virtual group meetings. During each interaction, our staff focused on the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines and the many benefits of reading. We know some of the amazing benefits include building attachment, improving memory, expanding imagination, and increasing attention spans. Even when babies can’t comprehend language, they still find the sound of your voice comforting. They enjoy the colors, pictures, and feel of the books, and they relax into sleep more easily. Our goal is to start them young and watch them grow! 
Children Speak through Play
Even as an adult, sometimes it is hard to express what you are feeling. Imagine how difficult it is for a child to talk about hard experiences! At The Baby Fold, our therapists are trained to help our children tell their stories through play. Krista Reichert, a registered Play Therapist at The Baby Fold, explains, "We let the child guide the session. Choosing the toys, and initiating play empowers them. The therapist follows their lead and mirrors their activity. This validates the child. For example, using a sand table and various action figures, a kid can create their own world and play invites us into their world. As they talk about their creations, we reflect their story back to them with emotions added to it. This helps the child feel understood."
Meet Teresa! The Future Looks Bright...
The Baby Fold is pleased to welcome Teresa Decker; our new Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving. Teresa comes to us from a very successful career at Illinois College as a Major Gifts Officer who helped countless donors make plans for transformational gifts to positively impact the future. Prior to her work at Illinois College, Teresa’s career focused on helping our youngest citizens. She worked in a development role supporting youth at Bellwood Children’s Home in Kentucky and more recently the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal, IL. “This amazing opportunity at The Baby Fold is the perfect combination of my love for precious children and my passion for helping donors make transformational gifts that leave a positive, lasting impact on the world.” Help us welcome Teresa at 
Calm Down!
Little ones have a hard time controlling themselves sometimes, and if we're honest, sometimes we don't model what we ask our kids to do. Teaching our staff and parents to calm themselves before reacting to a toddler's outburst or a teen's eye roll is an important strategy for a more peaceful home. The Baby Fold has a very special relationship with top neuroscientist, Dr. Bruce Perry. He teaches that you and the child must feel safe and connected before they can hear what you are saying. All of The Baby Fold staff practice and teach checking in with yourself first, before attempting to communicate with a kiddo who is in upset. We know that if we are in control of ourselves, our clients have the opportunity to "plug into our calm."
Vinnie Earns His Vest!
Congratulations to The Baby Fold's newest therapy dog. Vinnie has graduated from his special training, along with Hammitt High School counselor, Brittany Libernini. He's got his vest and he's ready to help students feel the emotional support that he can give. He will help our kids calm down, or cheer up- whatever they might need throughout the day. Welcome to The Baby Fold, Vinnie.

We are also hiring humans! As we work to help children and families throughout Central Illinois, The Baby Fold is always growing to meet our community's needs. If you know great people who want to make a difference in the world, share our job openings with them HERE! *No fur required. Thank you for helping us spread the word!
It's National Foster Care Day!
Today is National Foster Care Day! Nearly 500,000 children enter the foster care system every year. The Baby Fold recruits and trains foster families to create safe and loving homes for children. Every child deserves to be loved and protected. Today, we recognize and celebrate those who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of our children and those who have joined us in becoming a part of the solution to the national problem! The Baby Fold is proud to be a state leader who finds permanent, loving homes for children in foster care!
Enjoying the Season
In this historical photo, children are pictured enjoying and learning about the many spring flowers on the grounds of The Baby Fold!