My Career 1988 The beginning…..
I was a stay at home mom with my three children. My sister-in-law was a working mom. Her child care provider had quit so she called me to ask me if I would be interested in caring for her daughter who was just a month older than my youngest. It was just a matter of time before word got out and I was asked to care for other children.
1993 – Became a licensed provider
After being in the business for five years, I decided that I might as well get some of the benefits like training offered by the state and the money from the food program. I took the necessary training and became a licensed provider before it was required by the state.
1994 – Participated in starting a local support group
Our local group started with just a few providers. We eventually named it “All for Kids” Crook County Early Childhood Association. We had trainings, support group meetings, and had conferences.
1995 – Started a preschool program
I charged by the hour back then. I became frustrated that I was losing money while my daycare parents were taking their children to preschool. I did some research. Took some more training and started a home-based preschool program. I have used Mother Goose Time (www.mothergoosetime.com) for many years now and find that the children love it. They alternate curriculums each year so even if your child is in my program from age 2 until the time they go to kindergarten, they won’t be doing the same thing each year.
1997 – Obtained my Child Development Associate Credential
It was at this time that I had a child who I was quite sure had developmental delays but with very little training in this area, I needed something to back me up when I talked to the parents to suggest they have him evaluated. So I chose to do a year long course putting in 120 hours and giving up many Saturdays to complete. I was awarded my Credential from the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition in Washington, DC. I did an oral interview, an early childhood studies review with a council representative and was observed working with children in my home. I am proud to say that I was the first home child care provider in Prineville to receive this. I did eventually talk to the parents and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. He had testing and got the help that he needed.
1998 – Became a mentor to other providers
I applied for and was hired to be a contract mentor to other providers through Portland State University. I mentored many professionals in home based care as well as preschools and support faculty. After about six years, the program was taken over by the Oregon Resource & Referral Child Care System. I didn’t feel the program had the support we needed then so after one year with them, I chose to no longer be a mentor. I hope somewhere in those seven years of mentoring that I helped somebody get the skills they needed to have successful careers. What I gained from it was even greater. It was the first time in my life that I ventured out of my home and Prineville and was truly touched by the professionalism in this business. I made great friends and developed personal skills that improved my life immensely. I also received over 200 hours of training in this role. I still mentor many providers, it’s just on a volunteer basis now.
2002 – I was awarded a level 7 in the Oregon Registry
The Oregon Registry is a voluntary statewide system to recognize and document the professional achievements of practioners who work in the early childhood care and education settings. Professionals can apply for Entry Level or one of twelve levels of professional development. Each level represents various combinations of training, education, and experience. The highest level, a twelve, would be the equivalent of a Doctorate Degree. So I am very proud of my 7. Update: In 2014, I received a level 7.5
2004 – Became an elected board member for the Oregon Family Child Care Network
This statewide organization is a communication link between providers working in the field and child care partners like the Child Care Division, the Department of Human Resources, State Legislators, and other groups working with children and families. I was the website coordinator and in the last year, I have been their secretary. Through this organization, I have been fortunate enough to get an all expense paid trips to Orlando, Anaheim, Nashville and Las Vegas to attend the National Family Child Care Association conference. Unfortunately, this group disbanned at the end of 2012. I am grateful that I had all the opportunities to attend the National conferences. The training and knowledge that I gained there have truly helped me be a better child care provider.
2007 – Became an elected Executive Board Member and Regional Representative for Child Care Providers Together/AFSCME our newly formed Child Care Union
Oregon is one of a few states who have a union. So far we have been successful in getting laws passed that increase DHS subsidy rates by a significant amount and reducing parent co-pays. We have input on laws being made that effect family child care and give a voice to those making the laws. I am still a union member but no longer serve on the board. The monthly trips to Portland were too expensive and the union did not yet have enough money to reimburse me so I had to resign.
2013 - Volunteered to be a participant in the pilot program of Oregon's Quality Rating & Improvement Scale. Those participating will receive financial help to make improvements to help us improve the quality of our care to better serve our families. It's a win-win for all! Update: In 2014, I was awarded a 3 Star rating.
My son, Adam, is a former massage therapist turned accountant graduating from McNeese University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2014. He's working on getting his CPA. He and his husband, Michael, live in Redmond. Michael is a drug and alcohol addiction counselor at Best Care in Bend. Adam works for Shackleford, Vervloet, and Associates in Bend. Yes,we are a real life "Modern Family". We adore Adam and Michael and love them dearly and fully support them. In December 2014, Adam and Michael became parents to little Emery. They were legally married on June 2th, 2015. I am very involved in PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and work to support other parents, educate them, and advocate for full equality. Fortunately, I have wonderful parents in my program that support my volunteer work!
My daughter, Katie, graduated in 2009 from Arizona State University in Tempe with a degree in elementary education. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher and mom to our grandsons, Raiden and Raziel. They recently moved to Albequerqie, New Mexico from Tillamook. We miss having them in Oregon but her husband is an aerospace engineer and he has to go where the work is.
Dani, my youngest, graduated from Oregon State with a B.S. in Interior Design in 2010. She is currently employed at Bend Furniture & Design. After several years in Corvallis, we are happy to have her back in Central Oregon.
All my children graduated from high school in the top 10% of their class with honors and have done really well in their college life too. Katie graduated from ASU with a 4 point while being married and also having a full-time job. They were awesome kids and have grown into successful adults. Their father and I couldn't be more proud of them!
Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in
If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.