5 Questions: Heather Zins, Family Child Care


Meet Heather Zins. She operates a home child care in Burleigh county. Recently, we asked Heather to reflect on her experience with Bright & Early North Dakota. 

1. One of the key advantages of Bright & Early is that it helps you identify your strengths- the things you do well. What are you the most proud of in your child care program?

I have been in the childcare profession since 2002. I take pride in having a well-organized, clean environment with a wide variety of activities, so the children can use their imaginations! I love having separate interest areas in my home- block center, dramatic play center, and a quiet/reading area. Most of all, I am proud to know that the kiddos I care for love coming to my house each day!


2. Bright & Early also helps you identify potential areas of growth. What were some easy changes you made to improve your program?

  • I listen to the children more while they talk instead of me doing all of the talking.
  • I took out more puzzles from my closet that are not normally out.
  • I took items off of the top of my shelves and found them a home down low, so children could reach them- that was really simple!

3. What challenges did you encounter when making improvements in your program?

I found it very tricky rearranging my space to allow for a quiet uninterrupted reading space and an undisturbed block play space. I was able to pull it off by just adding one shelf that I already had in a different area in my house.


4. What were you most surprised about with your observation?

The children! They didn't even care that there was somebody watching us for the morning. I was nervous, but as I got in my normal groove for the day it didn't even bother me that there was someone watching me.


5. Were you surprised by your practice observation score and why?

Honestly, I thought I’d get a higher score than I did. There are so many little changes I can do for the next observation that I am not worried. My score should increase a ton more!

I’m very happy that I joined Bright and Early. I have bettered my program in so many ways and the kids LOVE the way things are changing and all the new items we were able to purchase with the initial grant money!


Bonus Question: Funniest thing a child has said or done lately?

The funniest comment that I've had a child make is, "tires don't talk." The child and I were playing and talking, and out of nowhere comes this comment! It just makes a grown-up stop and wonder what kind of things a child thinks about.

Bright & Early North Dakota translates all of Heather’s accomplishments in to one, simple quality rating. Bright & Early North Dakota ratings provide an easy-to-use tool for parents to identify child care providers, just like Heather, who go above and beyond for children in our community. Starting in April 2015, quality ratings will be available for parents to use in their search for child care and early education.

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