I started in the early childhood field at a church as the secretary when the Mother’s Day Out Director position came open. I proposed working as the Director on a 3-month trial to see if I could manage both positions. Four years later, I am still doing both jobs and loving it! It is such a rewarding experience to help children learn and watch how proud they are when they accomplish a new skill. I love interacting with preschoolers — talking and listening, playing games, reading stories, or singing songs. They are such a joy to be around!
I currently live in Lafayette, Louisiana. I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy playing board and card games. I like to read and watch movies. I am not far from retirement age, but plan to continue working as Director for as long as I am able.
I had been working as the Director of our center with no prior experience or education. I was encouraged by my advisory board to take a course that would be beneficial to me in my role as a leader and also teach me about some aspects of running a program where I had some struggles. I looked online at several Director courses offered and found that the ChildCare Education Institute Director’s Certificate program had exactly what I was looking for, particularly information about staffing, curriculum and assessment, budgeting and marketing.
The course material was easy to understand, the interspersed questions kept me on track, and the videos were interesting and informative. Not long after I finished the unit about staffing, three positions opened up in our center. I was able to apply what I learned from the course and went through the advertising, interviewing, and selection process in a completely different way than I had done before. What a difference that made! Instead of quickly hiring someone because we needed a teacher, we slowed the process down and advertised the position and filtered through many applicants and chose the top three. I went through the recommended steps of a phone interview first, then an in-person interview, then a 2nd interview. We also instituted a 60-day probationary period where before we had no probationary period at all. I have so much confidence that we hired the right people for our center, where before it was more like “hope and pray” they worked out.
Family involvement is another area that I was able to apply what I learned right away. We had Open House recently and I gave parents the opportunity to sign up to volunteer with specials events or read to the children or help in the office. The response was wonderful! I plan to make our newsletter and website more interesting and informative. I also plan to include more information on our website about what our program offers that our competitors do not and ask a few parents to write a brief testimonial about our program that I can include. I am so excited to see the results we achieve from this!