Archives for December 8, 2021

5 Best Summer Clothing Items for Tween Girls (and their Moms)

Summer is the perfect season to dress in vibrant colors, whimsical prints, airy textures, and fun accessories that easily transition from the office (or classroom) into pure vacation mode. Not to mention, with all these cute summery choices to choose from, it is also an ideal time of year to refresh your tween girl’s wardrobe—as well as your own!

Whether your summer plans include a morning at the local farmer’s market, an afternoon at the beach (we have no shortage of those here in Southern California!), anything in between, now is the time to step out in style with clothes that look cool on both of you. So fill your daughter’s closet—and yours too—with these seasonable fashion essentials.

Bonus tip: if you want to score the lowest retail prices, consider shopping for the bulk of your summer clothes in July, advise the financial experts at NerdWallet. As the temperatures rise, early season markups tend to give way to more affordable costs.

Pull on a Flowy Tunic Dress.

With breathable material and a loose, breezy silhouette that begs to be worn in the sunshine, a tunic dress is both classic and effortless to throw on during these summer months. Both you and your tween girl are sure to look beach boardwalk ready in a tunic dress with pastel colors, floral or paisley accents, a ruffled hemline, and flowy peasant sleeves. Complete this outfit with a pair of brown sandals for the ultimate laidback ensemble.

Slip into a Sleeveless Jumpsuit.

Pull off the easiest matching look this summer with indistinguishable suits for both of you to feel cute and comfortable in. A jumpsuit, in particular, has all the makings of your new favorite seasonal uniform, with adjustable sleeveless straps and flouncy wide pant legs to allow for ease of movement, no matter where those summer adventures whisk you off to. This outfit is quick to slip into, and the matching mother-daughter vibe is so much fun.

Rock a Pair of High Rise Shorts.

Who said you can no longer wear shorts after a certain age? You are never too old—or young, in a tween girl’s case—to show off some bare (but still modest) skin in high rise shorts. With a belted paperbag waistline, a button front closure, deep lined pockets, and a timeless washed out denim material, they are just as fashionable as they are functional. You and your daughter will be quite a stylish duo in these shorts all season long.

Feel Chic in a Ruffled Tank Top.

Tank tops are essential in this balmy Southern California weather, but there’s no need to settle for just a plain ribbed tank. Turn the sophistication level up a notch with pleated cap sleeves and tiered ruffles across the hemline. You and your tween girl will strike the perfect balance of sweet and trendy with this unique spin on a basic summer tank top. Wear it with some drawstring linen trousers and espadrille flats for a chic but relaxed vibe.   

Finish Off with Bright Accessories.

Even the most casual looks turn into the height of fashion when you pair them with bold, eye catching accessories. Summer is all about splashes of color and bursts of whimsy, so reflect this trend through various accessories—from oversized straw hats, to patterned cuff bracelets, to wayfarer sunglasses, and more. These bright, fun accent pieces will ensure that you and your daughter radiate sunshine, from the beach to the streets.

Every Tween Girl and Her Mom Needs these Summer Clothing Essentials.

With these classic wardrobe staples, you and your tween girl have endless options to create a variety of head turning summer looks. Whether you are on vacation or checking out the local Southern California hotspots, there is absolutely no doubt—you two will be the most fashionable pair around. From flowy silhouettes, to bright colorful patterns, to playful accessories and unique details, this is an ideal time of year to have fun with fashion.

So plan an afternoon of mother-daughter retail therapy to stock up on these must have summer clothing items, then rock those new seasonal outfits like the fierce dynamic duo you both are. Oh…and just in case your tween girl has questions about whether it’s still cool to dress in a way that complements her mom, you can tell her the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” After all, she is not a teenager yet—soak in these bonding moments while you can!

Vaccines May Make It Harder To Find Good Affordable Daycare

What exactly do COVID-19 vaccines have to do with affordable daycare? It comes down to the fact that mandated vaccines for child care workers have decreased the number of people holding these positions thus making it harder for service providers to maintain previous commitment levels.  The effect has negatively affected daycare in a very severe manner.  In this article, we look at the relevant statistics and their effect on the cost and availability of child care services across the country.

Why Daycare Workers Require Vaccines

Vaccines for child care workers make scientific sense. Here’s why: young children under the age of 5 years will not be eligible for vaccines until at least 2022. Roughly 60 percent of these children spend a large portion of the average week in non-parent daycare settings which becomes a potential point of contact.  Preschool teachers and infant/toddler caregivers who work directly with these children put both at risk of contracting the virus. This is why daycare workers are required to be fully vaccinated. The idea is to prevent the spread of the virus to the homes of the children attending daycare. Sadly, many child care service providers have left the industry, not entirely because of the vaccine mandate, either. Low pay is a huge hurdle to overcome.  Although estimates put the number of pre-pandemic jobs currently filled at 90 percent, vaccine mandates combined with low wages may make finding affordable daycare a challenge in the coming year.

Vaccines Are Used To Protect The Workforce

A survey conducted between May 26 and June 23 revealed that almost 78 percent of the child care workforce had been vaccinated. The study, conducted by Yale University, also indicated that black child care providers, individuals with the lowest household incomes, and home-based child care providers all had lower vaccination rates compared to the entire workforce.  A few factors are responsible for this, according to the co-author of the report, Dr. Kavin Patel, an infectious disease fellow at Yale School of Medicine.  He says concerns related to vaccine safety, and how fast it was developed are the top reasons cited for not getting vaccinated. Access to the vaccine had little or no impact on the study results.  “The last year showed us that child care providers are the workforce that makes all other workforces possible,” Patel adds.

Walter Gilliam, a co-author of the report and a child psychiatry professor at Yale, states that although the vaccine is viewed by many as a form of protection for child care workers who are at risk during the pandemic simply by the nature of their work, not been much done in the past to help these workers. “If we really want to protect the workforce, we have to pay them better,” he says. Data shows that the already crumbling child care industry is shaking more, due to pay rates more than anything else. The information shows that four out of five child care services operated this past summer with less staff than required. The survey was conducted by NAEYC, a child care provider professional organization. The survey asked providers about the future of their service and close to 33% said they were either leaving the industry or closing their service. An additional 81 percent stated that pay was the main reason for this decision.

Vaccines Present A Hurdle For Staffing

A report conducted by the US Treasury Department in September states that child care workers are in the second percentile of all occupations based on wage-earning. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says, “The free market works well in many different sectors, but childcare is not one of them. It does not work for the caregivers, it does not work for the parents. It does not work for the kids.” She adds, “Child care is a textbook example of a broken market.” As for vaccines, more job postings across the industry include vaccination as a requirement, automatically reducing the pool of potential candidates. As one child care service provider stated, “I’m having trouble finding people who are qualified at all and then trying to find someone who is vaccinated.”

States Are Slow To Implement Guidelines

Mandates are in place, but not in all states. For example, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, and the District of Columbia all have some level of vaccination requirement for child care workers at licensed facilities. California has “something in the pipeline” but that’s it.  Mandates in other industries such as the US military, health care workers, and other groups have effectively increased the vaccination rates in these sectors. It is interesting to note that the majority of workers facing vaccination mandates will comply rather than lose their job. However, the sectors where vaccination mandates have been successful contain high-paying jobs that would be difficult to replace if workers chose to be let go for non-compliance.

Final Thoughts

Talk at the federal level supports an increase in the hourly rate for child care workers. The Biden administration is looking at a minimum of $15 an hour at this point. The plan would be to do the same with kindergarten teachers and other teachers with the same qualifications. The government feels that the best way to solidify the failing child care system is to put more money into it by offering a better wage for workers. At the moment, that could be about $450 billion of funding. While that sounds like an incredible injection of support, it is unlikely that the full amount will get through Congressional negotiations. However, any additional funding for child care in the country will be a good thing even though it means that if you are seeking child care service for your child, it may not be as affordable as it once was. This is assuming the service provider you choose has enough staff to keep up with demand.

As you can see, this is a difficult situation that needs continued monitoring.

Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.

Nora, Ezra, and Koda, Dec. 9th Pets of the Week

These three little kittens have a lot more on their minds than mittens. They have been working hard on their initial bashfulness so that they’ll be friendly, cuddly, playful, and ready for their new home, or homes! And they are! Actually, boys Ezra (brown tabby scrunched up in back) and Koda (flame-point Siamese-type on right) and their sister, Nora (silver tabby on left), are 8 months old and are not so little anymore, but they’re still kittens and have a lot of years to spend playing with and purring for loving humans. Shelter adoptions are conducted through appointment, so contact to meet the three not-so-little kittens. Ask for ID#A662263 for Nora, ID#A662265 for Ezra and ID#A662264 for Koda.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)