Child Care Providers are AMAZING!

Over the past few weeks, Child Care Action Council has been receiving nominations for Child Care Providers who have made an impact on the lives of children in their care. In honor of Child Care Provider Appreciation Day (May 10th), listed below are the nominations of providers who nurture, teach, and care for children in their care.

Bundle of Joy, Grays Harbor County
Chris Reeson

  • She is so caring and engaged. She treats each child like a member of her family. Chris has embraced Early Achievers and taken the opportunity to better her family child care and herself, after 25 years in the business. It takes a lot of guts and dedication to go back to school in your 50’s, for something you’ve been doing as long as her. But she was genuine in her endeavor and has applied so much of her learning to Bundle of Joy. So blessed to have found her!! -Sarah Channel, parent
  • She is such an amazing teacher. I learn new things everyday. She doesn’t only care for the children she always cares for her workers — that is what makes her such an amazing person. She works her butt off and doesn’t ever have a break and she deserves this. She is so understanding and does so much for the kiddos. -Adrianna Vazquez, parent
  • They became family…so much more than just child care! Truly amazing. -Missy Smith, parent
  • Crissy and the entire staff at Bundle of Joy continually go above and beyond to ensure all kids have a safe and fun environment each day. They even have 2nd generation kids attending now. They truly care about the children! Always getting new toys, trying new activities, incorporating new learning opportunities…I can’t say enough good things about this daycare. –Donna Steinman, parent

Little People’s Landing, Grays Harbor County
Donna Hilliard-Griess

Donna unyieldingly loves the children she serves with all her heart, and it shows. Donna is amazing in many ways every day. In particular, to support my 2 year old daughter who wears an eye patch for 2-3 hours daily, she threw an eye patch party at childcare. All of the children chose to wear an eye patch with my daughter and Donna brought out special activities for the occasion. I can barely think about it without tearing up out of gratitude and admiration for Donna. She’s just the best! -Natalie Chavez, parent

Kindercare of Silverdale, Kitsap County
Ms. Sophie

She is doing an amazing job with encouraging potty training, they are always doing activities and she is so patient with the children. She always keeps me informed too. –Karla Dessimoz, parent

Kitsap Child Care and PreSchool, Kitsap County

Kitsap Child Care & Preschool believes that play provides the best foundation for academic learning and that play is the work of young children. The teachers create unique learning environments dedicated to the children’s interests at the time. No two classrooms are alike, and each one is dedicated to the unique likes and interests of the children in the room. At KCCP, learning is child driven, just the way it  should be. -Alissa Murphy, Early Achievers Coach

The Toy Room, Grays Harbor County
Brandi Gunter

  • I am nominating all of the wonderful women who work at The Toy Room! I can’t list all of the amazing things about them, however I can say this… I am a very over protective mother and not only do I trust all my children in their care they make time for each individual child every single day. The love and compassion they have for these children is the reason why they so deserve this recognition. I honestly feel that I won the child care provider lottery! Brandi and Miranda make sure all the children’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are met daily and I have never heard them complain not once! As a parent, it is a blessing to have these women care for my children when I can’t. Every mother/father wants the best care for their child and these wonderful and amazing women make sure every single child, every single day, feels love, consistency, respect, knowledge, and of course discipline. Brandi and Miranda aren’t just providing care for these children, they’re shaping and molding these children for the future. I am a firm believer that it truly does take a village to raise a child! -Desiree Blunt, parent
  • She is the most loving caring person! -Kelsey Williams, parent
  • Provides the best care for my kids, as if they were her own. So, so blessed to have her helping with the care and raising of my girls when I’m at work! – Hailee Marceau, parent
  • The ToyRoom is the most loving, positive and inviting childcare center I’ve ever seen! My son couldn’t be in a better place and I’m so thankful for Brandi. -Ashlee Bussard, parent
  • Brandi goes beyond the call of duty for our little guy. She’s always available and happy as a clam. Our son is so safe and sound at this daycare and we never worry a bit. Brandi is an asset to our community and the meaning of “it takes a village.” -Jessica Iskra, parent
  • Because Brandi is so awesome and takes great care of my child. Makes sure he brushes his teeth everyday and as soon he comes home and says, “I love Brandi.” -Carleen Kell, parent
  • Brandi is a wonderful person that loves her kids. My son loves going there she teaches the children how to sing how to play nice and there ABC and more. Her daycare is the best I ever seen. -Kyla Wyeth, parent
  • Awesome place for kids. They all seem to enjoy it. My son has a blast there he is always excited to go. -Juan Gutierrez, parent
  • Great daycare both my kids have gone since they were 3 months old. -Aaron Williams, parent
  • Brandi is AMAZING! She goes above and beyond for ALL her kids. She helps potty train, helps with homework, helps with teeth brushing, takes them on field trips and to the park (without charging extra), she loves her kids like her own. She helps them get dressed and fixes their hair. She celebrates milestones and helps kids with artistic expression. Kids and families will return to visit after aging out or moving away because you can’t help but love Brandi. I have encountered multiple child care providers (as a social worker and parent) and Brandi is the best. She is kind, compassionate, hard working, honest and flexible to meet the needs of kids and families. She is one of a kind and nobody else compares. -Amy Herring, parent
  • This child care center goes above and beyond for all the kids that attend! My daughter LOVES seeing Brandi first thing in the morning and really puts me tonease knowing my daughter loves her daycare! -Niccole Fesler, parent
  • The reason to nominate The ToyRoom Childcare because she was able to accommodate the needs for our son, whose faces daily challenges being special needs. She also cared for our youngest daughter too. Brandi has became apart of our family, and our (we) children just love and adore her. -Hallye Tom, parent
  • She’s absolutely amazing. She treats my daughters as if they were her own. She has a heart of gold. -Amanda Hukill, parent
  • Brandi is such a wonderful person inside and out. The love that I see each and everyday is astounding. I know that my little one is in the very best of hands. The daycare has made such a positive impact on my daughter, I’ve seen her grow in such a beautiful way all thanks to Brandi and her wonderful team! -Erika Barker, parent
  • Caring excellent place. -Paul Cook, parent
  • My son went there from 6 months old and all through grade school. I can’t imagine him going anywhere else. He learned so much and absolutely adored everyone there. We consider Brandy part of the family. She had such a huge, positive impact and influence over our son’s life. I owe so much to her. -Marcy Greenfield, parent

Sunshine Kindercare, Mason County
Lisa Smith-Robinson

Because she is amazing. She has been doing child care for over 26 years and loves those kids like they are her own! She is so dedicated to helping raise these kids in the best way possible. She is constantly trying to keep the kids engaged and learning new things by going above and beyond by joining different childcare type growth programs such as early achievers and the raise a reader program. All around Lisa Smith is am amazing provider and in blessed to be able to have her in my kids life. If I cant be with my son there is no one I would rather he be with. -Emilie Wright, parent

Puddle Jumpers, Thurston County
Debra Walter

Deb is the most amazing human I’ve ever met. Her knowledge and passion for teaching and raising good humans is unsurpassable. My son has grown in every way since starting with Deb at Puddle Jumpers. She provides a home, a nurturing community, to support these children in who they are. She also supports and teaches the parents too! I am constantly amazed by the work they do together there and the new things my son learns every day. I would nominate her 100 times over! -Lauren Logsdon, parent

Green Gables Montessori, Kitsap County

  • Green Gables Montessori is new to Kitsap County, but has quickly made itself known to the residents in the area. Green Gables gives children the opportunity to develop and nurture their own love of learning. They provide an educational atmosphere that incorporates the Montessori Philosophy emphasizing development of each child’s mind, body, and spirit. -Alissa Murphy, Early Achievers Coach
  • Ms. Kerri, along with all the other providers, is AMAZING. They are attentive, dedicated, loving and I could not thank them more for al the growth and happiness they’ve introduced to our daughter’s life. They are by far the kindest women I’ve ever met. -Arica Eaton, parent

Little Hands Daycare, Kitsap County
Bonnie Millard

Bonnie and her staff show care and compassion to my son and provide him with lots of learning and growth experiences. I know when I drop him off each morning that he is in good and trustworthy hands. -Molly Read, parent

Cadence Academy Lacey, Thurston County
Olivia Tudorancea

Olivia was my son’s teacher when we moved from North Carolina to Washington. He has since moved to a different class, but he still speaks of her often and her bright smile and enthusiasm in the classroom made it an easy & exciting transition for him. Knowing that he loved his new teacher and classroom was a huge stress reliever for us as a military family that moves often. -Jennifer Akin, parent

Dora Herrera, Thurston County

Dora Herrera is a family child care provider who makes a difference every day for children. Ms. Herrrera has a wait-list with siblings from former children who have attended her family child care home. Ms. Herrera’s strengths are that she offers a bilingual program, which helps children make meaning of new concepts in their first language while also learning English. Ms. Herrera recently had a rating release and I was not surprised to see that she has done exceptionally well in the area of instructional supports for children. Ms. Herrera offers many opportunities for children to learn in the natural world outdoors. When children attend Ms. Herrera’s family child care home, they often explore the life sciences through caring for gardens and chickens, children experience literacy with bilingual storybooks, art is everywhere, and all of this rich learning is supported by Ms. Herrera with thought-provoking questions and conversations to get children to think more deeply. Ms. Herrera is a live example of school readiness in action! -Debbie Roberts, Early Achievers Coach

Great Beginnings, Thurston County
Cindy Green

Cindy has spent the last 18 years loving her job, learning and growing right alongside the children. She loves to learn new ideas and techniques for working with children, she is a life-long learner. She hopes to spend the next 18 years doing the same, rewarding job! -Rose Tiller, Early Learning Consultant

Hertha’s In-House Child Care, Thurston County
Heartha Green

I have watched Hertha as a teacher at a center, nanny and now small business owner and there is no one I would trust more with my granddaughter. She is truly everything you look for when you need someone to care for your little one. Iris has learned and grown so much in her time there and I am truly grateful for the peace of mind knowing she is receiving top notch care. -Kiauna Clark, parent

Sherwood Creek Children’s Center, Kitsap County

Walking into Sherwood Creek Children’s Center in Belfair is like walking into a home. You can feel the patient kindness from the teachers and the buzz of inquisitive children learning through play. At Sherwood Creek, every child is given opportunities to explore and learn in the indoor and outdoor activities. The atmosphere allows the children to be comfortable and explore with ease. Sherwood Creek is an extraordinary example of quality child care. I feel privileged to have such a great child care in our community! -Alissa Murphy, Early Achievers Coach

Sunflower Day Care, Mason County
Kim Boykin

  • Kim is a dedicated provider, who loves her kids. She cares deeply about their future and works hard to provide a safe, enriching environment for them to play and grow in. -Jessica MacLeod.
  • Kim is an exceptional childcare provider. She is wonderful with children, and has really helped my son Javier learn so many skills. She really cares for children in her care and takes quality time with them individually as well as altogether. Students learn social skills and through play, they learn about manners and respect. She takes them outside for nature walks and to play in the yard with various age appropriate activities. She provides a calm and safe environment for children. Students in her care enjoy going to childcare. She is creative with meals and takes great care to the health of the children in her care. Her childcare is clean, and full of a variety of age appropriate toys, books and Daily activities. She communicates well with parents and students alike. Her childcare would benefit greatly with this award. Thank you Kim Boykin for your love of children and professionalism in taking care of children. -MartiNiQue Bish
  • Kim is amazing, she really cares for her daycare children. She is always going above and beyond for them and parents. She engages the children and is so active in their learning. She is always looking for new ways for the kids to learn and have fun doing it! -Karelle Dean, parent
  • Kim goes out of her way to help each child learn and grow into very respectful children. -Brandon Lane, parent

Jitterbug Child Care Center, Thurston County
Yvette Townsend

It’s not just a daycare, they’re family. -Rheanna Sammons

Danilynn Fernando, Thurston County

Danilynn Fernando is a family child care provider who has just had her initial rating released. When I first met her she was not sure if she wanted to continue to participate in Early Achievers and was even considering not taking children who receive a state subsidy. Over time, Ms. Fernando began to trust me and would work with me to assess her environment and interactions with children. Ms. Fernando, did every single thing I asked of her in her preparation for a rating. After her rating visit, but before her results had been released, Ms. Fernando called me and said, “I nailed it; I want raters to come here everyday”! When I went to visit her to reflect on the rating day visit, she was dancing. When she started dancing, I reflected back to the time when she was not sure if she wanted to continue with Early Achievers and here she was saying that getting a rating is nothing to be afraid of and that she wants raters to come any time. Ms. Fernando is a success story. In fact, Ms. Fernando did nail her initial rating and is excited to go for a level four next time; and she can do it too! -Debbie Roberts, Early Achievers Coach

We Care Day Care, Grays Harbor County
Melissa Pooler

  • This woman truly cares for all children. She has had a daycare for over 20 years. She shows so much compassion ,patience, integrity and honesty. She has a loving environment. The children are all very well educated and taught manners. It shows by the love she gets from the adults she had as children when they return to catch up with her. And to get her famous hugs and muffins. -Patricia Kurylo, parent
  • She is always so kind and patient. Her children all know how to write their names, know the alphabet and numbers. They know their colors and have learned manners and how to play with others…ALL BY THETIME THEY GO TO PRESCHOOL OR KINDERGARTEN. The school always says they can tell when one of her children enters grade school. -Michelle Rayleen, parent
  • The best daycare ever. Reliable, safe, and will always be the #1 daycare in the world. -Amiah Leach, parent
  • She is absolutely amazing. She has been a childcare provider for years. She is selfless, attentive, and goes above and beyond for so many children. I have never met such an caring individual. You won’t find a better child care provider! -Faith Mclemore, parent 
  • Melissa is helping raise children with patience and understanding of others feelings. Her children all are taught reading, writing, and alphabet. Most of all manners. -Stan Kurylo, parent
  • My child care provider is amazing. Kind, helpful, and very clean. -Monica Wood, parent
  • Because Melissa is the most compassionate, kindest, sweetest person you would ever want taking care of your child! She is just the BEST Ever and deserves this award and so much more!!! -Ann Peery, parent

Kid’n Around, Thurston County

Kid’N Around is a local small town center serving toddler and pre-school children. As they gear up for their initial on-site evaluation with Early Achievers, Rose (director and owner), Stephanie (preschool teacher), and Crystal (toddler teacher) have gone above and beyond to make changes to the classroom environments. Additional materials have been added and new interest centers have been created for children to explore throughout the day. These changes have had a positive impact on the children by providing more intentional play as well as increasing social interaction between children. Rose, Stephanie, and Crystal have long practiced individualization, creating an inviting place for all children by providing support based on the needs of each child. As their coach, I can honestly say that when I walk through the door, I see an incredibly loving, nurturing, and supportive environment with teachers willing to try new things for the benefit of the children in their program. -Kathryn Arthur, Early Achievers Coach

Leaps and Bounds Childcare, Thurston County

They have been great working with my 4 year old getting him to talk. -Jessica Coleman

Nisqually Child (Day) Care Center, Thurston County

Nisqually Child (Day) Care Center: When I think about the Nisqually team, what stands out the most for me is that they probably are one of the most cohesive teams I have ever seen. When I wanted to incorporate reflective practices with teachers using a video-recording, staff were apprehensive at first. But, the encouragement that they gave each other whenever I asked them to try something new was astounding. Teachers would say to each other, “You can do it”, or “We will work on it together”. I saw that a lot and wondered how it came to be that this encouragement was practiced so consistently and over time between the staff. Over the first year with the team, I began to notice that without fail,, the director, Candace Wells, trusts staff to do their best, offers help when ever it is needed, and provides staff lots of autonomy to try, fail, and then learn – staff at this site feel safe trying new things! And, it is because the Ms. Wells has created a climate of trust and support. -Debbie Roberts, Early Achievers Coach

Cradle to Crayons, Thurston County

She has never ending patience with the toddlers and is great at communicating with parents. -Nicole Jarvela, parent

The Evergreen State College Child Care Center, Thurston County

The Evergreen State College (TESC) Child Care Center:  This center recently went through their initial rating and I can tell you that they worked hard to prepare. The director, Casey Lalonde said that  motivation for participating in Early Achievers was a mission to serve the student-parents whose children attend TESC, including keeping subsidies available for any student-parents who need both the child care and the subsidy. This site is looking forward to adopting the Teaching Strategies Gold Child Assessment tool in the future. Further, during preparation for the rating, student assistants as well as staff worked effectively as a team to support one another when UW raters visited. During the rating visit, student assistants engaged children in singing with the guitar, dancing to the fiddle, and having a joyful dance party! I love this site because the team is so authentic in their joy of teaching with each other and seeing the children grow.  -Debbie Roberts, Early Achievers Coach

Debbie’s Daycare, Thurston County
Debbie Ritter

My son has been going to Debbie’s for 9 months now, this was his first daycare experience so we were very nervous. Fortunately Debbie has been such a huge blessing to our family. Not only is my son safe and well cared for, he is also learning so much academically and socially! I am beyond impressed with Debbie’s dedication to the children in her program, she organizes field trips, holiday parties, parent conferences, all while also implementing preschool curriculum and plenty of meaningful play time for the kids! Our family is forever grateful for Ms Debbie! – Trene Prete, parent

Squaxin Island Child Development Team, Mason County

  • River Otter Room (Kelly Aho, Allie Walker, and Carmen Weir): At Squaxin Island Child Development Center there is a classroom where magic happens! The River Otter class room is like none other. The teachers Allie, Kelly, and Carmen go above and beyond to create an engaging and inviting atmosphere in their classroom. These teachers also pay close attention to individualizing for each child as well as planning developmentally appropriate activities. You can feel the difference upon entering their room. They pay special attention to their relationships with families and have huge hearts for the families they are working with. Their Compassion is part of what makes this room so unique. For provider appreciation I would like to thank them for a job well done and hope that they can inspire others to shine as brightly as they do. Thank you Ladies!! -Heidi DeVries, Early Learning Consultant
  • Squaxin Island Child Development Team: This team has worked hard to incorporate new practices focusing on child outcomes. They are a large center and have rolled out the Teaching Strategies Gold formal assessment for all of the nearly 200 children that they serve. They have also adopted the Creative Curriculum and when they arranged for training on the curriculum for the staff, they opened up the training opportunity to others within our community. There is  very low staff turnover because staff know that their director, Sabrina Green, cares about each of them individually as well as showing encouragement for the team as a whole. The Ms. Green consistently models a positive and uplifting attitude for children and families. But in addition to all of the above attributes, the Ms. Green has a growth mindset, seeing the possibilities in our early learning system where we grow the scope of our service to our community.  -Debbie Roberts, Early Achievers Coach
  • Squaxin Islands teachers, support staff, educational partners! I would like to thank all the teachers, support staff, and leadership staff for having a growth mindset and the drive to do what is best for our kiddos and families! Each and everyone of you inspire me daily! You are doing great things! To all our partners with the Squaxin Island tribe, the Squaxin Island community, Childcare Action Council, ESD 113, DCYF, and many others: THANK YOU! Without your guidance, mentoring, and support our team could not continue to learn and grow! Thank you for your encouragement and believing in us! Thank you for your partnerships and knowledge! You all help enrich our program. -Sabrina Green