Category Archives: Community

Provider Spotlight: Nakisha Gaddie

by Stephanie Ries, Paths to QUALITY™ Coach

As a Paths to QUALITY™ coach, I work with dozens of providers, helping them to create quality environments for children. With each provider I help to advance a level, I feel a sense of pride in the provider’s accomplishments.

Sometimes, though, a very special provider rises to the top. These special people go above and beyond to embody success in serving children. One of these providers is Nakisha Gaddie, a certified ministry provider at Bright Horizons Child Care.

STARTING THE JOURNEY WITH PATHS TO QUALITY™

Although child care ministries are not required to be licensed in the state of Indiana, we encourage them to complete the Voluntary Certification Program (VCP), a prerequisite for the Paths to QUALITY™ quality rating improvement system. The VCP process generally takes providers 8-14 months to complete – and Kisha completed it in less than three months! Her diligence and determination to attain all of the requirements for VCP was astonishing. I hadn’t, and still haven’t, had anyone complete this process so quickly. She immediately started the Paths to QUALITY™ process and is looking to fast-track to Level 3 within the month.

TAKING THE TIME TO DEVELOP HERSELF

Becoming the best possible version of yourself as a child care provider is just as important as checking all the boxes to create a great program. Kisha embodies this idea. She is on her way to completing her Director’s Credential at Ivy Tech Community College.  The T.E.A.C.H. program also recently approved her scholarship to complete her B.A. in Early Childhood Education.

REPRESENTING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AS A LEADER

Kohl’s recently saw the leadership potential in Kisha and demonstrated their confidence by recognizing her with their Kohl’s Cares grant. She has proven herself so well to the grantees that they are now utilizing her talents and skills to advocate for early childhood education.

As a part of her role as a Kohl’s Cares grant recipient, Kisha was also recently chosen to represent Indiana as a part of the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (ECCS CoIIN). She will travel to Arlington, VA this month to participate in the ECCS CoIIN Learning Session.

Kohl’s also recently asked her to speak on behalf of motherhood and caring for children at a Community Baby Shower event, presented in partnership with Kohl’s Cares and the Riley Children’s Foundation. Not only did she successfully navigate outside of her comfort zone to be a speaker, but she also jumped into action with her natural gifts of caring for children during the event. While waiting to give her speech, Kisha heard some chaos in the area where others were caring for children. She couldn’t help but go where she was needed and stepped in to help with the children. View this great video showing all the good that happened at the Kohl’s Cares Baby Shower.

I am so honored to walk alongside Kisha as her coach. I have full confidence that she will, and already has, impacted the lives of so many children. Congratulations, Kisha!

How Child Care Answers Helps the Community

by Cheryl Tyler, Outreach Coordinator

At Child Care Answers, you may know us as the go-to resource for families and child care providers. Did you know we also offer services to the community?

BUILDING BLOCKS FIRST

When we work with the community, we start with the basics.  Our team educates members of our community on the importance of early childhood education. We explain the importance of brain development, quality social-emotional interactions, and preparing children for the future. We also work with Human Resource departments to assist their employees with finding quality child care.

FORMING PARTNERSHIPS

Our work includes participation in several coalitions, committees, and service organizations throughout the six counties we serve. Personally, I am part of the following groups, just to name a few:

  • Early learning coalitions in Bartholomew and Johnson counties
  • The Brown County Community Network
  • Systems of Care

Other members of Child Care Answers also attend meetings with organizations such as:

  • Easter Seals
  • Prevent Child Abuse Marion County
  • The Indiana Afterschool Network
  • The State Breastfeeding Coalition

These groups are just a sampling of the groups of which Child Care Answers staff are a part. At these meetings, we share information and updates about Child Care Answers.  For those attending these meetings, or the clients that our social service partners may have on their caseload, we can answer questions about our services.

GETTING THE WORD OUT

Another great aspect of our work with the community revolves around community fairs and events. At such events, we staff an information table with information on Paths to QUALITY, On My Way Pre-K, CDA, and CACFP. Depending on the audience for the event,  we stock our booths with any other information that meets the need. We also offer to do onsite referrals for any families seeking child care. Each of these types of events allow us to educate the community about quality early care and education, as well as assisting families in making informed decisions about the type of care that best fits their needs.

We are able to network with the other vendors at each event. This networking allows us to form collaborations and connections with community members who may not be aware of our services or how we can assist their clients. The exposure we receive at such events is critical in continuing to educate the public on the importance of early childhood education.

How does Child Care Answers help the community? There are so many ways.  As the Outreach Coordinator, I am always looking for more. If you know of any upcoming events or anyone needing information about Child Care Answers and the services we provide, please email me at cherylt@childcareanswers.com