Author Archives: Child Care Answers

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!

Last Day Q&A: Vicki Lehman

If you’ve ever been to one of our trainings or watched a LIVE! event on Facebook or Instagram, you’re likely to remember Vicki Lehman’s smile and energy.  As our Professional Development Specialist, we’re proud to have Vicki as one of the faces of our agency.  Learn more about Vicki 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?

Passionate, Outgoing, Helpful

What is your personal philosophy?

“It is what it is.” – at first glance it seems like it may be a negative thing, BUT I think it is a nice way to look at things.

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

I couldn’t live without travel – I enjoy adventures and exploring and couldn’t imagine NOT being able to do it.

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

We moved around a pretty good amount when I was younger for my dad’s job – this was a challenge but also such an amazing experience. It was hard to move around and make new friends, but at the end of the day I have met so many amazing people and had some awesome life experiences because of it.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Sweets – it’s a problem!

What is your greatest fear?

Failure

Where is your favorite place to be?

The mountains

What is your favorite thing to do?

Travel! Binge watch shows on Netflix.

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

I would have to say Ireland – it is truly beautiful there, and the people are super friendly. Paris would be a close second!

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

I was a “secret shopper” at the dining halls in college. I was in a group of people – we would go to the different dining halls, order whatever we were having for that meal, and then report back to the dining staff about our experiences.

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

Robot Housekeepers – HANDS DOWN!

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

Probably something in the fashion field – like refurbishing vintage pieces and things like that

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

Don’t be so ready to fit in – it is OK to stand out. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself – life is good!

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

“I know, right?”, “It is what it is.”, “Listen,…”

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Lorax – I really like the message!

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have been to 37 of the 50 states!

Ask Vicki additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Mollie Smith

Mollie Smith is a bit of a celebrity at Child Care Answers, because she touches so many people with her work on the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential program.  Learn more about what she’s like when she’s not championing CDA!

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?

Motivated, helpful, detailed

What is your personal philosophy?

Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue!

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

Of course, my family…but a VERY close second is quiet time away from everything

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

The 100 year flood in 2008 (southern Indiana, 11 inches of rain in less than 12 hours) – and having a baby the next day!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Funny stories

What is your greatest fear?

Disappointing those I care about

Where is your favorite place to be?

The beach

What is your favorite thing to do?

Reading, walking, sitting, playing volleyball…on the beach

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

Mayan Rivera. It was 100 degrees-kind-of-hot outside, there was a beach, and it was on my honeymoon (many years ago)!

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

A director. The list of ‘other duties as assigned’ does not even begin to touch the ridiculous situations that I have gotten into….like chasing Canadian Geese off a playground (or more like being chased by Canadian Geese) as preschool children and teachers cheered me on.

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

Robot housekeepers

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

I would love to be a personal trainer. Would I be successful…..not so sure!

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

Take care of your knees and ankles; playing injured doesn’t feel good 20 years later.

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

For real? Seriously? Come on!

What is the best book you have ever read?

To Kill a Mockingbird

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I had extremely curly hair as a kid

Ask Mollie additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Katherine Darby

Katherine Darby is one of our Infant/Toddler Specialists.  She may describe herself as weird, but we’re charmed by the quirks that make her one-of-a-kind. 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, funny, weird

What is your personal philosophy?

Don’t worry about things that have already happened. You can’t change the past, but your choices can change your future.

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

My husband (awwwwwww)

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

Becoming a blended family. I had no idea how stressful and challenging it would be.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A bad pun

What is your greatest fear?

The unknown. And an irrational fear of clusters of circles.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Wherever I’m comfortable!

What is your favorite thing to do?

Bake

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

Australia – it was my first international trip, and I will never forget it!

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

Camp counselor at a Mennonite summer camp

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?

Zoologist

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

Don’t worry so much.

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

Okay doh kay, artay chokay
Seriously!?
Really?

What is the best book you have ever read?

I don’t know if it’s the best but I love My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I used to play the cello.

Ask Katherine additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Courtney Coleman

It’s our Advancement Coach, Courtney Coleman’s turn to share fun tidbits about herself. Read below to get to know Courtney. 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?

Direct, Funny, Helpful

What is your personal philosophy?

Do unto others as they do unto you.

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

My family

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

Overcoming my own fears of school to advance my career

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Hugs

What is your greatest fear?

Fire

Where is your favorite place to be?

On the beach

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sleep

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

Italy – the food, the experience, and the fear of leaving the country

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

Bagger at Kroger

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?

Firefighter

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

Puberty will end. 🙂

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

“Bye Felicia”, “Get Your Life Together”, “You Tried It”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Oh! The Places You’ll Go

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m deathly afraid of the dark.

Ask Courtney additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Jenny Mathis

You can probably already guess that Jenny Mathis, our School Age Specialist , has a passion for older children. Read more about Jenny’s other likes below. Be sure to come back on the last day of each month to find out more about our other staff. You can also click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Passionate, determined, headstrong

What is your personal philosophy?

Hunt for treasure, treasure the hunt.

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

Chocolate

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

The pain of a divorce

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

A good dessert

What is your greatest fear?

Dying before seeing my son become a grown man with his own family

Where is your favorite place to be?

Outside in the sun

What is your favorite thing to do?

Go to concerts, boat/camp, attend my son’s sporting events

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

Paris because I love the Eiffel Tower

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

Cleaning toilets/shower houses and planting flowers for state parks(IDNR)

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?

Own a wedding barn venue

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

You are enough.

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

That’s so annoying, wanna make a bet, Love it!

What is the best book you have ever read?

Anything Danielle Steele or Nicholas Sparks

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I love mowing grass.

Ask Jenny additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Marla Segal

Our Pre-K Project Manager, Marla Segal, helps families and providers learn all there is to know about On My Way Pre-K. Now it’s time to learn more about her! Read about Marla below, and keeping coming back on the last day of each month to find out more about our other staff. You can also click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Kind, positive, and easy-going

What is your personal philosophy?

The glass is always half full.

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

My daughter’s laugh. No matter the mood I’m in, I hear her laugh, and I just can’t resist smiling.

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

I had a speech impediment growing up. My sisters were the only ones who could understand me. I had speech therapy until 7th grade, and I was the happiest child when they told me I did not have to attend in 8th grade!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Donuts! I love them so much.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing as a parent

Where is your favorite place to be?

On a beach reading, preferably in Jamaica

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to bake.

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

Isla Mujeres. It is a small island off of Cancun, Mexico. It was the first big vacation that my whole family went on. I loved the island, but I also loved making amazing memories.

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

I wouldn’t say it was weird, but I worked at an ice cream store when I was in college. After working there for 3 years, Ice Cream is the one sweet that I CAN resist.

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

At the moment, a robot housekeeper or even just a regular housekeeper!

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

I would be an elementary school teacher. That is what my degree is in, but I started teaching 4-year-olds right out of college, fell in love with Early Childhood and never turned back!

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

Don’t be afraid to take risks and to travel as much as possible!

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

I say “sorry” way too much, “Let’s shake, rattle and roll”, and “no worries”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I was on a jump roping team in 4th and 5th grade. We would perform routines at different schools around the city and also compete in competitions.

Ask Marla additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Cori Newland

Cori Newland is one of our newer staff members, and we’re so happy to have her as our Early Childhood Development Specialist. Read more about Cori below, and keeping coming back on the last day of each month to find out more about our other staff. You can also click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Patient, Stubborn (although some say passionate), Silly

What is your personal philosophy?

I try to listen to what I tell the children and follow my own advice, “Take a deep breath and relax. Now think about what is the best thing to do and what I can do better next time.”

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

I should say my family and friends, but I think I am going to say coffee!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

I cannot resist fresh, homemade brownie right out of the oven!

What is your greatest fear?

Not trying hard enough to make a difference for the field and my family.

Where is your favorite place to be?

My favorite place to be is at home with my husband and son, sitting under a blanket and reading books together. I also enjoying my trips to Florida beaches with my family to visit my dad.

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to bake and cook for friends and family.

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

My favorite place I have traveled to is New Zealand. I spent a semester student teaching in New Zealand and stayed with the best family. I learned so much about teaching while getting to traveling around a beautiful country.

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

Never really had a weird job, but I did work for Babies R Us for a summer which was probably my least favorite job I have ever had, because pregnant women would get mad at me for their credit cards declining.

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

Definitely a robot housekeeper; it would save so much time with all the animal hair we have to sweep up every day!

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

Either a veterinarian, owner of a children’s book store, or workout instructor for children and adults!

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

Everything will be just fine. Just enjoy the experiences in the moment.

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

“So true”, “Don’t put that in your mouth” (I have a two-year old), “Things are happening”

What is the best book you have ever read?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury or The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I do love to workout which a lot of people do know about me, however, my ultimate goal is to complete one full Ironman distance triathlon in my lifetime. Crazy, but I love running, biking and swimming, so it will be done one day!

Ask Cori additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Ashley Warren

Today we’re learning more about our Enhanced Coaching Specialist, Ashley Warren.  Come back on the last day of each month to find out more about another staff member or click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Loyal, Committed, and Meticulous

What is your personal philosophy?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

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

Music! No matter the mood or situation, there’s a song to go along!

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

Well, I’m still working on this challenge, but parenting was a big shift for me. I had to learn early on that it’s ok not to know all the answers and he will still love me at the end of the day. Nine years later, and that’s holding true!

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Rice Crispy treats…man, it’s bad! My mom makes the best ones I’ve ever had, but for those of you who enjoy a good one, try Noodles and Company.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing

Where is your favorite place to be?

Quiet places with water nearby

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sing

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

Grand Cayman. Beautiful sites and big adventures (for me anyway!). I went for a wedding, so having all my high school friends there was great!

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

This isn’t really weird, but I worked at Ritter’s Frozen Custard when I was younger. It was a lot of fun, but things got so messy around there! I was constantly trying to clean up things.

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

Robot housekeepers!

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

Probably something with organization or event planning OR a famous singer!

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

You got this. Stay prayerful and focused. Love yourself.

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

Wow, Listen!, Guess what…

What is the best book you have ever read?

Who Moved my Cheese?

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I started playing the viola in elementary school and stopped in high school. I loved it!

Ask Ashley additional questions in the comments below!

Last Day Q&A: Emily Barrow

This month’s featured staff member is Emily Barrow, our CACFP Monitor. We hope you enjoy learning more about Emily and why she fits like a puzzle piece among the rest of our great staff here at Child Care Answers. Come back on the last day of each month to find out more about another staff member or click “Last Day Q&A” at right to read our previous posts.

What three traits define you?

Funny, organized, adventurous

What is your personal philosophy?

I try to live by the mindset that some things just don’t need to be a battle. Enjoy the little things in life, love the people in it, and never say no to a new adventure.

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

I have a horrible coffee addiction, but it has to be good coffee. Even when we go camping, I drag my French press with us.

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

I didn’t go to college until after I had children. Juggling kids, work, and college was a long, hard battle to overcome.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

The pound cake my mom made for the holidays when I was a child. It is my favorite special treat.

What is your greatest fear?

Failing at something

Where is your favorite place to be?

I love the beach, but anywhere that has friends or family and good food – I am all in.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Go to a concert. I’m currently working on a concert bucket list. I just went to see Garth Brooks, and it was amazing.

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

A few years ago I went out to Arizona to visit my brother. We went up through northern Arizona to the Grand Canyon and did some back trails in a Jeep. It was so beautiful out there, and the time with my brother was priceless. Standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, you realize how small you are in this world.

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

I’ve not really had a weird job, but I do work at a local winery in my spare time. I love being able to just have fun there and meet new people.

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

Flying cars – I drive all over for my job. It would make life so much easier.

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

I actually went to school for political science and wanted to work with legislators. If I weren’t doing this, I would pursue that love a little more.

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

Slow down and enjoy being young. You have all the time in the world to grow up.

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

You know what I mean?, LOL, I’m over it

What is the best book you have ever read?

I’m still in love with The Grapes of Wrath. It was a book we had to read for a college class. Half of the class hated it, but I fell in love with the story.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

As a child I wanted to be a ballerina and took years of dance classes. Sometimes you might still catch me twirling around.

Feel free to ask Emily additional questions in the comments below!