5 Questions: Teresa Allen, Family Child Care
Meet Teresa Allen. She operates a home child care in Morton county. Recently, we asked Teresa to reflect on her experience with Bright & Early North Dakota.
Congratulations on earning your Step 2 award. What does this accomplishment mean to you?
To me it means that I have achieved another level of providing my parents with quality care for their children and some bragging rights! I always take pride in what I do and this gives me an edge over other providers. It just makes me feel good!
Bright & Early helps you identify potential areas of growth. What were some easy changes you made to improve your program?
- With the grant dollars, I was able to purchase things I didn't have, such as multicultural food, babies, and more manipulative toys for the infants and toddlers.
- Changing the "infant and toddler" space into a "preschool" space was one of the easiest and most beneficial things I did. Originally, the "infant and toddler" space was off to the side. I couldn't visibly see the children at all times. The infants and toddlers were getting into toys that had smaller parts. This could have been dangerous for them (choking hazards). Now, the toys are separated age appropriately. The younger children feel more independent by being able to get the toys they want to play with. The older preschoolers also feel like they have their own space when they need to "get away" and have some quiet time.
Bright & Early programs gain recognition for demonstrating they do great things for children and showing how they meet high quality standards via an observation by a trained observer. What surprised you about the observation?
How easy and laid back it was. I was myself and let the kids do what they always do. I didn't go out of my way to change how things are done and that really is the point. We are not trying to put on a show, but show that we are awesome caregivers! The observer basically faded into the background of the day.
What do you wish you would have known when you first started participating in Bright & Early?
I was familiar with the Environment Rating Scale (ERS), so I was prepared for what was to be expected. Also Sarah, my coach, from Child Care Aware prepped me and answered my questions.
How was your coach from Child Care Aware® able to help you as you pursued your goals in Bright and Early?
Sarah was awesome at answering my questions. She was there to make sure that I had things better set up for the children's benefit.
Thanks Teresa for all you do + thanks for the tour of your program!
Bright & Early North Dakota translates all of Teresa’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 Teresa, 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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