Author Archives: Child Care Answers

Last Day Q&A: Shannon Ford

Professional Development Coordinator Shannon Ford is a Renaissance Woman, in both the Early Childhood field and in her time out of work. Read more below to learn the many pieces that make Shannon the unique person she is today.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Resilient, loyal, and fun-loving

What is your personal philosophy?

Timing is everything! It took me a really long time to realize that my life doesn’t run on my timeline, that there’s a greater power involved, and His timeline is what matters. Trust the process. Good things come to those who wait (just ask the Chicago Cubs)!

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

One of my most favorite stress relievers is taking a hot bath at the end of the day. I could not live without my garden tub.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Raising my son as a single mom has been my greatest challenge, but it’s also been my greatest pleasure. There are so many negative statistics associated with children from single parent homes. Always having those statistics in the back of my mind was a true motivator in beating the odds and doing everything in my power to create the best life possible for the both of us.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A year ago, I would’ve answered a McDonald’s Coke. Today I would say salmon!

What is your greatest fear?

As I have gotten older, I can honestly say I fear less. However, one constant was always the fear of missing out (FOMO). The life of a single parent is a busy one and I threw myself into parenting 100%. I’m sure I missed out on things and didn’t take advantage of things presented to me because I was SO focused on being a mom. 2019 is my year of #noregrets.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Wrigley Field in Chicago…go Cubs!

What is your favorite thing to do?

Spending time with my fun-loving, dysfunctional family.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Ireland and England. Mom, my aunt, grandma, and I went for two weeks to visit my sister who was studying abroad. We flew in to Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day and drove cross-country to Shannon, Ireland. Eventually we ended up in London. Great memories! I would go back in a heartbeat!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I’ve been blessed with good jobs, nothing bizarre or peculiar.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

This is an easy one: flying cars! Or better yet, how about just a driver, that’s what I would want most!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Working for the Chicago Cubs in some capacity

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Life is about much more than the white picket fence. Again, trust in the process.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Go Cubs! Oh, Jacob! and Seriously?

What is the best book you have ever read?

Any book written by Michael Gurian.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I played softball in college.

Ask Shannon additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Rachel George

Paths to QUALITY Coach Rachel George has been working hard on her own education, but she also plays a big role in developing child care providers and helping them provide the best learning environments for their little ones. Read more about what makes Rachel who she is and how she developed into the person she is today.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Protective, loyal and curious

What is your personal philosophy?

I believe the purposes of early childhood education are to spark an energy and love for learning in young children, and prepare them for their transition into elementary school with the tools to become successful.

I believe the curriculum for young children should involve intentional teaching, thoughtfully designed learning environments and play based/child initiated routines. I believe you need to meet children where they are (developmentally), as individuals and as a group, through observations. Then, plan activities that are challenging but achievable.

I believe early childhood teachers must display the qualities of flexibility, passion, creativity, patience and dedication.

I believe the learning environment for young children should safe, secure, and stimulating where each child can grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Environments should consist of developmentally appropriate materials and learning centers for the children to explore.

I believe young children learn best when they feel safe, comfortable and supported in their environment.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Wow – there are so many things that I need daily; this is hard to choose just one. I would say that I tend to lean on my faith quite often. I go to sleep praying, and I wake up thanking God for another day.

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Currently, I am taking courses to achieve my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood focus, I would say that has been the biggest challenge for me this far. Trying to balance work, life, being a wife, a stepmother, an aunt, etc. It is very hard to complete assignments in a timely manner, post discussion boards and respond to the recommended amount, study, read the course material, etc., all while my husband is a coach and we have very different schedules. July 20, 2019 I will graduate and THAT date cannot come soon enough!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

I cannot resist fountain Cokes. I have been doing better, but most days I have to stop at a gas station and get a good one. McDonald’s does not cut it as they barely put any ice in it. I have to make my own. 🙂

What is your greatest fear?

Being in an airplane. I am fine if it is just for a couple of hours – anything longer than that. my anxiety kicks in and I get hot and sweaty and antsy. I think it is because I am confined and have nowhere to go and no control as to when I can get off. We leave for Montana in July – we have to fly to LA and then back to Montana. I am already a nervous wreck for that over-five-hour trip.

Where is your favorite place to be?

At the track. I am basically obsessed with the Indy 500, as I was raised around the track. Both of my parents were born and raised in Speedway. Both of my grandpas worked at the track, and my father did too. I was always there. The month of May, I spend ample time at the track. It is a huge part of my upbringing and my life today. My dad and I go to the race every year together. It is “our” day. I have not missed a race with him since 1992. My father hasn’t missed a race since 1963. I am very blessed to have this opportunity with my daddy, we have a ball together that day.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Spend time with my family. I love when we are all together. I love watching my nieces grow and learn. Holidays are so much fun with my family – we have good times with each other. We are very close-knit, and I am thankful for that.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

This is a tossup between two places. When I was 18, I went to Cancun, Mexico, and it was beautiful. The white sandy beaches and clear waters were amazing. A bunch of my friends went for our “senior” trip, and we had such a fantastic time. Three years ago my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Malibu, California. That place was awesome – very calm, great food, and beautiful scenery. It felt like that town “made” you relax. There wasn’t much to do but lay on the beach and eat. We had this beautiful house overlooking the Pacific ocean, and the master bedroom had French doors. At night we opened the doors up so we could sleep to the sound of the large waves coming in.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

My parents made me work at a young age. I had my first job at 14 as a Kroger bagger. I wouldn’t say that was the “weirdest” though – that would be when I was meat slicer at Blimpie Subs. I worked there when I was 15-18 and worked my way up. Eventually, my younger sister started working there and took my job as I went to college. I also worked at the “new” Kroger in my hometown when I would come home from college breaks as a cake decorator. I LOVED that job. I remember I made my sisters graduation cake. I also made the display cakes for the bakery. That was when edible photographs were popular, and I put a picture of me and my sister on a cake.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

I would take that robot housekeepers; that would probably be most helpful to me in this point in my life. Plus, I’d feel kind of like the Jetsons, and I loved that show when I was a kid.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I think that I would be in the cake decorating business. I love to decorate cakes, and I learned so much when I worked at Kroger. I learned how to make those roses and flowers. I learned how to make all kinds of outlines, and I was really good at writing on cakes. I had the “steady” hand 🙂

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

I would tell myself to not be afraid and go for whatever I wanted to do. I was very quiet and naive and seemed to back away from large crowds and confrontation. I would tell myself to be more outspoken and spontaneous. Time flies by, and I feel like in my older years I am coming out of my shell more and more because life is so short.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Bless your heart, Understandable” and either “I agree” or “I know, right”.

What is the best book you have ever read?

I am not a reader. I struggled with reading comprehension when I was younger. It was like pulling teeth for my parents to get me to read. I learn better visually and hands-on, and by hearing it too. But, I read Where the Red Fern Grows when I was younger for a class assignment, and I have to say that was such a precious book. For someone who struggled with comprehending, that kept my attention. Now, I can read article after article on my phone or computer that are five to 10 minutes reads…but I cannot stand books.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I always told my parents when I was growing up that one day I would buy one of those houses by the track so that dad and I could walk to our seats for the race. Guess what? I did that! I bought my first house six months after graduating from college, and I had two roommates that paid me rent to help out with the mortgage. After about three years, they both moved out and I was left with the mortgage. I worked two jobs for many years to make ends meet because I was not going to give my house up. I lived there for 13 years, until meeting my (now) husband and moving in with him. Every year, dad and I walked to our seats for the race and I was right in the middle of all of the hoopla in Speedway for the month of May….EXACTLY where I wanted to be.

Ask Rachel additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Cheryl Tyler

Our Outreach Coordinator, Cheryl Tyler spends a good amount of her time in the community, talking with families and local organizations. If you see her, take a minute to say “hi!” and talk to her more about some of her favorite things.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Honest, compassionate, kind

What is your personal philosophy?

Control the controllables

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My phone

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Some health challenges

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Spending time with my family and friends

What is your greatest fear?

Losing a loved one

Where is your favorite place to be?

On the softball field

What is your favorite thing to do?

Coach softball

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Everywhere. I love to see new places and try new things.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Video store clerk

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Professional Sports Agent

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Really? Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding…

What is the best book you have ever read?

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was born on a US Naval Base in Kenitra, Morocco

Ask Cheryl additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Kristin Cofield

Paths to QUALITY Coach Kristin Cofield not only has a passion for improving child care quality for programs and children, but she also has a zen-like focus on improving herself. Read more below to get a deeper insight into what makes Krissy tick.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Compassionate, trustworthy, honest

What is your personal philosophy?

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My faith in God

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Believing in myself. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself and silence the negative voice inside. Tell yourself you can do it and get it done!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

I have a serious sweet tooth. My favorite candy is Kit Kats and Reese’s cups.

What is your greatest fear?

Large dogs

Where is your favorite place to be?

My prayer room in my house

What is your favorite thing to do?

Volunteer and listen to spoken-word poetry

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

New York is one of my favorites, because I like the cultural diversity the city has to offer.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

My first job was folding tee shirts at a retail store. Yes, there is a proper way to fold shirts!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Child Psychologist

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

You’re going to be okay, and you will survive.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Any word with four letters“Are you kidding me?” “Seriously?” “That does not make sense.”

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Shack by William Paul Young

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve collected Cabbage Patch Kid dolls since I was four years old. I currently have 200 dolls!

Ask Krissy additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Ann Aull

There’s no one in the world quite like our Early Childhood Adult Educator, Ann Aull. She’s impacted hundreds of lives through her CDA courses, and she impacts us everyday here at Child Care Answers too!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Compassion, Strength, Humor

What is your personal philosophy?

Do something to make the world a better place, even if it is hard.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Meaningful work

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Not turning into a bitter person

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Netflix binge

What is your greatest fear?

The next two years

Where is your favorite place to be?

At home

What is your favorite thing to do?

Hiking and Crossfit

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Galapagos Islands – that trip was so full of adventure and a dream come true for me.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Cleaning bathrooms at a construction company

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Flying cars

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Work at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

You will survive this

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Any word with four letters

What is the best book you have ever read?

Mutiny on the Bounty

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I am really quite shy

Ask Ann additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Brittany Flaugher

Brittany Flaugher is a Paths to QUALITY coach with an emphasis on infants and toddlers. She wears many hats in both her work life and personal life. We’re glad she took time out from her juggling duties to share more about herself with us this month!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Compassionate, Caring, and Data-driven (Ha!)

What is your personal philosophy?

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

My faith… and chocolate!

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Juggling many hats: Motherhood, obtaining a Master’s Degree, and working combined!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Quality time with friends and family

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my child

Where is your favorite place to be?

On the beach or on top of a mountain

What is your favorite thing to do?

Spoil myself every once in a while with getting a facial =)

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Brazil. The country was beautiful, the people were loving, and the food was delicious!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

My first job – working at a dry cleaners. I’m a germ freak and it was not a good fit for me!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Moon cities!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Motivational speaking, empowering others to live out their BEST life!

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

The world awaits you! Make good decisions now, as the choices you make will impact your future. Write down you goals and speak them out.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Be a voice – others need to hear you. Today is a new day. You were made for more!

What is the best book you have ever read?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I like to sing, and I made it through to the third rounds of American Idol in 2008.

Ask Brittany additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Lauren George

Lauren George is one of our fantastic Infant Toddler Specialists. Bonus fun fact: Her infant daughter, Claire, is also a celebrity in Lauren’s how-to videos on our Facebook page!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Passionate, Funny, and Loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

You do you. (Do what makes you happy. Who am I to judge?!)

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Coffee and reality television

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Becoming a mother. Becoming a parent has been far more challenging than caring for 10 toddlers at the same time!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

French Fries

What is your greatest fear?

Snakes

Where is your favorite place to be?

Home with my family and in comfy clothes…or the mall!

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sit back and watch my kids play together. They have such an imagination, and it is so fun to watch!

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I spent the summer nannying for my nephew in London when I was 18. We traveled all over the continent and I saw, experienced, and ate so many amazing things. It was a trip I will never forget.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I wouldn’t say I have had a weird job. But, I have worked in child care since I was 10, and I am not sure that would fly these days!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper for sure! Between two kids and a dog, my house is a mess.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

If I did it all over again, I would go to school for nursing and be a labor and delivery nurse.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Be nice to your mom. You will appreciate her so much when you get older.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

YOLO, Living my best life, and OMG

What is the best book you have ever read?

Harry Potter

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

My mom has never made me a birthday cake. I always have pumpkin pie instead. Yum!

Ask Lauren additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Michelle Terry

Outreach Specialist Michelle Terry brings so much energy and laughter to our team – the perfect combination to get families and providers excited about quality child care!

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Humorous, personable, and loyal

What is your personal philosophy?

If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready!

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Music

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Being content with just me, myself and I. Some days, we don’t get along!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A fly high-heel!

What is your greatest fear?

Dying in a car accident

Where is your favorite place to be?

The dance floor

What is your favorite thing to do?

Dance, preferably stepping and line-dancing

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

New Orleans with my best friend. Our only plans were to eat and drink….a true vacation!!

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Top Flight traffic guard in college….writing tickets and taking names! Oh yeah…reflector vest and all!

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot housekeeper!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Cosmetologist

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Don’t let those C’s in conduct get you down. You will get PAID for talking!

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

Intentional, “See….it’s two-fold”, “In 2.3 seconds….”

What is the best book you have ever read?

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (I believe the wolf!)

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I absolutely LOVE the Medieval Period and Greek Mythology.

Ask Michelle additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Carrie Lamb

Carrie Lamb is our Early Childhood Enhanced Leadership Coach and the newest addition to our coaching team. We’re lucky to have her insight and experience in early childhood! 

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Organized, Creative, Resilient

What is your personal philosophy?

Follow your arrow.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Books

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Single parenting, especially during my daughter’s cancer diagnosis and treatment

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

French fries

What is your greatest fear?

Failure

Where is your favorite place to be?

Home, but camping is a close second

What is your favorite thing to do?

I have a few hobbies, but my favorite thing to do is read, and then read some more.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

My favorite place was Nicaragua, mostly because I could visit with my daughter whom I had not seen for six months, since she was on a year-long mission trip. Nicaragua’s volcanoes are pretty cool too.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I’d say working as the “doctor’s domestic help” in the Pioneer Village at Conner Prairie.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Without a question, robot housekeepers!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Teach

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

I’d borrow some wisdom from John Lennon when he said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” In other words, it’s not about what has happened, what matters most, is what happens next.

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

So… (used to clarify), That’s no bueno, Hmmmm…

What is the best book you have ever read?

I have to choose ONE? The best book I’ve read lately is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It includes a little bit of love, adventure and life lessons.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’ve made many quilts over the years. On the flip side, I’m married to a punk rocker even though I am not a fan of punk rock!

Ask Carrie additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Erica Woodward

Erica Woodward is our newest staff member and serves as the Pre-K Project Manager for Bartholomew and Jackson Counties. Although she’s new to our team, she’s been working hard for quite a while in Southern Indiana as an advocate for On My Way Pre-K.   Learn more about Erica in this month’s post.

Come back on the last day of next month to find out more about our other staff.  Or,  click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Sympathetic, Listener, Humble

What is your personal philosophy?

Do whatever it takes to make yourself happy.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Pictures of my children when they were little

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

Living without my grandparents

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Chips and queso

What is your greatest fear?

That my children will move far away from me when they are older

Where is your favorite place to be?

In my kitchen, surrounded by all of my family

What is your favorite thing to do?

Go out to eat

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Paris, because I knew that I would never have the opportunity again.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I made specialty sandwiches in a deli…and I had no idea what I was doing.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?

Robot Housekeepers, of course!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

An anchorwoman for the news

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Never, ever settle!

What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?

I’m sorry. I’m tired. Clean your room.

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have a sister and a son that are two years apart in age. 😊

Ask Erica additional questions in the comments below!