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Teacher Qualifications

  • 1.  Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 19 days ago
    Wondering how other programs are doing with meeting NAEYC's current (and upcoming 2020) Teacher Qualification requirements.  Is anyone finding it to be challenged to recruit and retain qualified teachers and teacher aides?  Or to encourage those without degrees to pursue additional education?  We are in a rural community, and our state has seen a significant decline in education majors, coupled with a steady increase of state funded pre-k classrooms, with higher compensation levels, further compounding the issue of meeting NAEYC's requirements.  I am genuinely concerned for my ability to maintain our accreditation.

    ------------------------------
    Diana Verbeck
    Executive Director
    Danville Child Development Center
    Danville PA
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  • 2.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 18 days ago
    I have been saying for a while that NAEYC is out of touch with challenges that the childcare centers in the rural communities are facing.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve quality and elevate the educational training of individuals that work in early education.  But the realities of what that would cost and what families would have to pay for rural providers to achieve that goal is unrealistic.  Until we address the funding issues behind being able to provide high quality childcare, there is no  reason to continue to push for the higher training requirments.  Unfunded mandates by the state, federal government or private pac groups like NAYEC will ultimately decimate the childcare industry and put birth through age 3 year old children at risk.

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago

    Totally agree with the challenge rural child care centers have in finding teachers with the increased qualifications that NAEYC wants.
    Traditionally, child care centers train child care staff, then some move on to Head Start and then some move on the board of education positions. That is the reality due to increased salaries and benefits that are available outside of childcare. While training and education are important, there are excellent teachers that may have no more than a CDA or ACDS (2 yr. non degree early childcare training), and may have been in the field for years.  They certainly do NOT lack training, as they have had continual education through center sponsored in-service trainings and early childcare conferences and workshops (some for 15 or 20 years), but they don't count as 'college credit'.
      In rural settings it is hard to find people with the educational requirements at all, let alone expect them to work for the lower salaries that childcare centers can pay.  Childcare is not supplemented by state and federal government funds like Head Start and board of educations are, so they are a unique breed.


    ------------------------------
    Judy Olson
    Friends-R-Fun Child Dev. Ctr.
    Summersville WV
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    Diana,

    I also hear that some centers anticipate an increase in the minimum wage in Pennsylvania which could make a big impact on a program's budget. An increase at the lower level of the pay scale could mean an increase in the upper levels also. One center in the Philadelphia area has raised their rates twice this year already citing this reason for having to charge families more for care.

    How might an increase in the minimum wage impact your program?

    Linda

    ------------------------------
    Linda Boss
    Instructor
    University of WI - Platteville
    Lewistown PA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    Linda,

    It will cost us about $80k to do a minimum wage increase (min wage that would be $11/hr, not the proposed $15) that also accounts for compression on our salary scale, but does not include any increases to program leadership (which is 6 employees, including myself).  The subsequent increase to our families would be approximately a 7% tuition increase.  We figured that based upon what we were hearing from our Association lobbyists and other entities with lobbyists and connections to state govt.  So, $15/hr would be unattainable without a significant increase to our tuition.  We have a small subsidy population (less than 15%) so any increase the Gov. would tie into reimbursement rates would have minimal impact and private pay families would shoulder the burden, as they do already.

    There was discussion on doing a two part tuition increase this fiscal year in case an increase in min. wage was looming and we could also do a smaller salary scale increase to assist in hiring, but my board was strongly opposed. (But they don't have to try and do the hiring and tell staff they can't have off bc we are short staffed either...lol).

    And BTW, my career in this crazy field started in Lewistown at Mifflin Co Child Development (before it merged with SUMCD)

    ------------------------------
    Diana Verbeck
    Executive Director
    Danville Child Development Center
    Danville PA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    Currently our highest paid staff/teacher in a classroom is making $11.00 per hour.  We currently have 20 employees at one of our centers.  If we across the board gave all of our staff a $1.00 per hour increase it would cost us before taxes an additional $3,200.00 per month.  We currently have a 120 students enrolled in that program.  In order for that pay increase to not impact our bottom line, we would have to raise our tuition by $6.60 per student.  That is of course if we were able to maintain the 120 students we currently have.

    A year ago we raised our tuition by $5.00 per week after not having an increase for 3 years and our parents lost their minds.  I had to explain to them that the increase came out to be about  $.10 cents per hour if there child was with us for 40 hours per week and less than that if there child was with us for 60 hours per week.  We still had some that complained the increase was to much.

    So even though our costs to operate were going up, parents still complained that things were too expensive.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 18 days ago
    Abysmal wages nationwide make child care a non-starter for qualified people who otherwise would love to work with children. Sadly, so many child care workers find they have to leave the field as well, unless a life partner or parents are willing to subsidize their career choice by paying the bulk of living expenses - or they are living on the margins, at best. At the same time, parents are financially devastated by the cost of care, if they can find it. And who suffers most, of course, are the children. All this despite decades of advocacy.
    This probably sounds pretty dark - but I've spent my whole career bumping into this roadblock. There have been a few sparks of hope, but unless our society and culture starts valuing child care at a level it should be, it seems another generation of children, families, and programs are fated to struggle as past ones have. Meanwhile, how can we ethically encourage anyone to enter the field?
    Wish I had a better answer! Best of luck -

    ------------------------------
    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 17 days ago
    I totally agree. I was just having a conversation with one of our state reps today about this topic. I love running a center, but get frustrated with the childcare licensing services changes the teacher qualifications so often. It is difficult to hire people with either too many qualifications (bc then you can't afford them) or people with not enough qualifications.
    I believe early childhood teachers should have a love and passion to work with children.  They need experience not so many titles or degrees behind their names. You could have a doctorate degree and still lack experience.  College classes cannot teach you life experiences!! While they are good to have as a learning resource, it cannot teach you to work with children until you are amongst those little ones.

    ------------------------------
    Rebekah Mogee
    Center Director
    Under His Wings Preschool LLC
    Gilford NH
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  • 9.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    I have read this before about how "college can't teach you experience" but I don't know of any ECE program that doesn't have hands on, practicum and student teaching components; the one I taught in had multiple experiences, increasing in the level of engagement each year. These placements also include an experienced mentor teacher for guidance.  If there is a 2 year or 4 year ECE degree that can be earned without stepping outside a college classroom, I'd like to talk to whoever accredits that institution.

    ------------------------------
    Vicki Knauerhase M.Ed.
    Child Development Specialist (retired)
    Weston OH
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  • 10.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    ​Hello to you all!
    I too am challenged by this topic. I went to a community college for 1 year and then started teaching. That wasn't enough so I had to get my CDA. Later that wasn't enough and I went back and got my AA degree. Now they want a 4 year degree and I'm too far into the 'game' to go back now. Yes I did practicums, labs within early childhood settings, and student teaching. Yes you can learn many things from being educated in the field and doing labs and practicums, etc. But they can't teach you everything you are going to face/ deal with until you actually experience it.I might have been interested in a 4 year degree if there had been one designed only for early childhood. Here in Iowa where I work, you can only get a BA in elementary ed with an early childhood endorsement. I didn't want anything to do with elementary - I'm in preschool. Also they can teach you the basics and give you ideas of how to deal with others/ face challenges/solve problems with children and families, BUT as we well know every child is unique with their own genetics and life situations & history. To handle that you need to experience these situations first. Did the AA degree boost my pay - not much. I have been doing this for 23 years and still am under $15.00 an hour. I don't do the job for the money. Just my thoughts on the subject

    ------------------------------
    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    I think the 'experience' director's are talking about when they say 'college doesn't give experience' is that even though ECE programs do have hands-on learning in the classrooms, it is not the same as daily being in charge of a classroom as the lead teacher.  I have had teacher's in my program (some for 15 or more years) that became 'experts' with their age group and were able to decide if a new child needed a referral within the first or second day​ of being in their classroom - based on their knowledge and 'experience' in working with children. That is the kind of thing that new grads can't know.  It is no different than the medical field - there are things only 'experience' can teach that are of major value.

    ------------------------------
    Judy Olson
    Friends-R-Fun Child Dev. Ctr.
    Summersville WV
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    ​Judy,
     I agree with both of your posts. You are right on target. My program is a state funded one but we are down to 3 days a week and 4 hours a day & it used to be 5 days a week & 6.5 hours a day. This is all due to budget cuts on the state level. We are in a rural setting here in Iowa. The daycare here has a waiting list a year out on infants, 6 months out on Toddlers, and full in the preschool room for now. The staff turnover is large and they have no benefits. Some have a  CDA and others don't. They all do professional development yearly. It is sad cause they are a top rated daycare.

    ------------------------------
    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    There should not be a dichotomy between knowledge/degrees and experience. Really good teacher preparation program combine both. Passion and love for children are not enough. This needs to be combined with a thorough understanding of child development, content knowledge that is appropriate for young children, and pedagogical strategies for planning engaging activities that grow children in all developmental areas.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    I have a vision...

    What if you took the best that Home Child Care had to offer, and combined it with the best that an Early Childhood Education Center had to offer?

    Here is a basic picture:

    Set up the groups in mixed age format such as:
      2 infants under age 1
      2 under 2
      2 under 3
      2 under 4
      2 under 5
      2 under 6
      and 2 adult caregivers (with training/experience)  with a total of 12 children.
    The facility layout would look like a series of little apartments so each group would have a small kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (napping), and a family room (playroom) with adjacent outdoor playground.

    In this vision, the facility also has at least one, (more depending on the size of the program) separate preschool room where the PreK children would all meet up three 1/2 days/week, (and the 3 year olds: two 1/2 days/week) It is there/then that they would engage in preschool activities planned/facilitated by a qualified Early Childhood Teacher (with ECE degree).

    In an ideal setting, there would also be a gross motor room for music/movement, as well as a library, and enrichment programs for the toddlers. 

    In this scenario, the children stay with the same caregivers from birth until they graduate preschool.  Siblings can grow up together.  The preschoolers leave the "apartments" for their preschool experience 3-4 hours each day, 2-3 days/wk, allowing the Caregivers to concentrate this time with infants/toddlers. Although their playroom would be set up in a way that allows for quality play experiences for a mixed age group, they would not be responsible for the "education" piece of the program. The Early Childhood Teacher would have time between preschool sessions for planning and preparation, since she is not also responsible for the "caring" piece of a 9-10 hour day.

    In this scenario, a quality program could arise while employing larger numbers of highly talented caregivers (less expensive) and smaller numbers of highly educated Early Childhood Teachers (higher wage).  WIN/WIN  :)

    I would sure love to hear if anyone has tried this...or is willing to give it a shot.  (I would love to do it but too old to start something new at this point of my career.)
     

     


    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Werner
    Blessed Beginnings
    Cody WY
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    Elizabeth,

    Check out an approach called LifeWays

    http://lifewaysnorthamerica.org/lifeways-principles/

    I observed one of their sites in Wisconsin that was very similar to your suggestions. The field of Early Childhood is certainly ready to do some "reimagining" of our work.

    Linda

    ------------------------------
    Linda Boss
    Instructor
    University of WI - Platteville
    Lewistown PA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 14 days ago
    WOW!! Linda.  My "vision" in practice!!  Thank you for directing me to this website.  EVERYONE should have a look... what early care and education should look like.  Not everyone will have the ability to replicate, but should definitely take as much as possible and apply it to their program.  Our center directors really need to reflect on what early childhood can be and how they can take steps to get closer.

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Werner
    Blessed Beginnings
    Cody WY
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hazel, dark, no, accurate, very.  So much talk of doing better for the teachers and for the families, but no one wants to start making the change at the legislative level.

    ------------------------------
    Diana Verbeck
    Executive Director
    Danville Child Development Center
    Danville PA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    Thank you, Diane.

    There have been so many excellent ideas proposed over the decades, but none had the traction to make the difference. All the "isms" of our culture come into play - Sexism, as child care is seen as women's work; racism, as children and families of color are less likely to have good care; classism, as economically challenged families can't afford good care, or even any care at times. Waiting lists for subsidized care are often years long, turnover in the field is high, and there's no end in sight.

    But people who care about children and families do our best not to let the whole system collapse, because we care. I don't see that changing. it will likely take two or three more generations, but my hope is that we can get to the place where our field works like the excellent examples set by some European countries.

    Until then, we just keep striving.

    Best to you all -

    ------------------------------
    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hello Diana,

    Congratulations on attaining and maintaining NAEYC Accreditation status. I think this is a testimony to the commitment you and everyone associated with your program have to provide a high quality experience for the children, families and staff you serve.

    I believe these are exciting times in the field of Early Childhood Education as evidenced by increased funding for the Child Development Block Grant and the beginning of more attention on the education and compensation for those working with young children. Yet with the exciting changes I believe are and will benefit young children comes new challenges and opportunities.

    As a former Director of several Centers that were NAEYC Accredited, I understand your position regarding the educational requirements for the teachers and assistant teachers in ECE programs. It is challenging to meet these requirements because the increases in funding don't provide what is needed to support the teaching staff to get the degrees needed to maintain accreditation.

    A few suggestions I would offer to you, for your consideration are:

    1. Create a budget that includes the cost to ensure the teaching staff is able to earn AA and Bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education or a related field and to have the funds needed to compensate those who earn degrees to ensure they stay with your program. Use this budget to advocate for more funding for your program with any funding opportunities at the local, state and national level. This might include government officials, business leader and your members of Congress.

    2. Form an Advisory Committee that includes higher education faculty at the closest Community Colleges, Colleges and Universities in your state to help you develop and implement a Professional Development Plan that provides the pathway where your teaching staff is able to earn degrees. Online degree programs help those in rural areas earn degrees and are usually less expensive than onsite programs.

    3. Call staff at NAEYC who work in the Accreditation Department to get their help in how to move forward to meet the requirements for the teaching staff. I found the staff to be very helpful in addressing this issue.

    4. Develop a form for members of the Teaching staff to use to create, with your support, an Individualized Professional Development Plan that includes a SMART goal to earn a degree.

    5. Contact your NAEYC Affiliate to find out  what resources and support they can offer to you in this matter.

    I wish you continued success in your role as the leader of an Early Childhood Education Program accredited by NAEYC.


    ------------------------------
    Robert Gundling, Ed.D.
    Better Futures LLC
    Senior Consultant
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 16 days ago
    Thanks for your thoughts, Robert!  Unfortunately (or fortunately), we do do all of this and have been for several years as part of our state QRIS plan and accreditation (we've been accredited since 2000).  And additionally, I have served in leadership roles on many state public policy advocacy groups and still do currently, but in my 25 years of doing this work, I haven't been as concerned as I am today that meeting teacher staff qualifications is more of a fantasy than a reality and what does that mean for my program.

    I am not against improving and increasing teacher qualifications.  I agree that that formal education, along with practical experience is what's best for young children, as well as older children.  However, the reality of the situation is more of a cart before the horse...we can't pay them to get into the field, we can't pay them to stay in the field, and if we provide for higher educational attainment and certifications, they leave for higher paying teaching jobs within state funded pre-k programs and school districts.  This coupled with the decline in education majors is coming to a tipping point for us and many other centers across PA.

    It's disheartening to say the least that despite our wishes and best efforts to meet teacher qualifications, the pool of folks to hire isn't there, and trying to grow my own in house...well, it'll definitely be an either or proposition for them...either they do or they will need to move on, and maybe I'll get someone in to replace them who is interested in furthering their career, or I won't.

    If this is truly an issue across the country, which I think it is, then, I do think that NAEYC needs to reevaluate its position on teacher qualifications in some form or there will be many less accredited programs than there are now.

    ------------------------------
    Diana Verbeck
    Executive Director
    Danville Child Development Center
    Danville PA
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    It is disheartening to have individuals from the fields of academia and advocacy groups try to tell us as childcare/education business owners and directors how to budget our businesses so that we can pay our staff $15.00 an hour or more, provide health benefits, financially provide the ongoing training required of our staff and still cover all of the other annual expenses associated with providing child care and education services.  Oh, and we should make it affordable for the families.  In what world do these people live.  I have been in the childcare industry for over 10 years now.  Our families childcare business has been around for over 35 years and we have served thousands of children during that time.  We have had people look down upon us because we do not have NAEYC accreditation.  However when I looked into the process, it was going to be expenses and time consuming to meet the guidelines.  Furthermore, having the NAEYC accreditation was not going to allow us to charge anymore for our services, because we were already at the highest end of what we could charge for childcare in our area which is $160.00 per week.

    During that time I have also seen Advocacy groups try to get the state to lower student/teacher ratios and increase the # of ongoing training hours and educational requirements of people working in early childcare centers.  They have also pushed for full day Pre-K and to move 3 year olds into the public school system.  The irony in all of this is that funding would be created for the public schools to provide that type of early childhood services, however the classroom ratios would be higher than what they are in licensed childcare, the playgrounds would not have to meet current licensing standards, and teachers would get paid more with benefits because funding is being provided that state ( ie tax payers) and not the parents paying individually for services.  The end result is that those of us in private care end up losing students the public schools, further diminishing our ability to afford to pay our own staff.

    What Academics and Advocacy groups don't acknowledge or understand is what is going to be the actual financial cost of moving the childcare industry in this direction and where that money is going to come from.  Until they are willing to have that financial conversation with us, it will be difficult to support any of the ideas that they are putting forth.​

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 15 days ago
    ​Diana,
    You stated the problem very well. I know of several young people who started out after high school with early education in mind but we swayed away by the cost of schooling and the amount of pay & benefits they would receive. It is a shame that these are the times we are in and facing in our profession. If it weren't for the fact that I feel the need to help children and their families, I would have left a long time ago.

    ------------------------------
    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 17 days ago
    Aloha Diana,
    In Hawaii we are experiencing the same problems.  Most high school graduates are not interested in pursuing ECE degrees, because they know that education degrees don't bring in the money.The students enrolled in our ECE programs at the college level are for the most part already employed as aides or assistants.  They will probably continue working at their current schools.  Our state is also instituting state funded preschool programs in the public schools.  Because those programs are overseen by the DOE, their salaries are much higher than those we can pay.  They are unionized and have great benefits.  It is getting harder and harder to find and retain good qualified teachers and aides here, too.  I understand the desire to have our profession actually viewed as a profession and not just babysitting. But I do feel that NAEYC needs to take into account the current climate in Early Childhood Education as well as each individual school's issues.  We are in a bit of a "Catch-22" here.  We need qualified personnel, but they need enough money to live on.  In order to raise their salaries, we need to raise tuition.  When we raise tuition, we lose students.  When we lose students, we can't afford to pay better salaries. Those students whose families can't afford the higher tuition lose out on the advantages of attending a quality preschool. (Studies have shown numerous advantages exist for those who attend quality preschools.) And it goes on and on.  i do believe that lead teachers need to have either CDA's or AA's in ECE plus experience working in a program, but I think asking them to pursue higher education with their limited income and already full plates (most are moms as well as teachers) is unfair.  And not all schools are able to afford to assist them with their education costs.  (Don't get me started on the requirement that we provide education benefits!  How are we supposed to do that?)  I hope that NAEYC will rethink their position on this.  Thanks for letting me vent!
    Aloha and have a great day!

    ------------------------------
    Catherine Awong
    Director
    Mililani Presbyterian Preschool
    Mililani, HI, USA
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 17 days ago
    Catherine,
    I couldn't agree more! I live in rural Wisconsin. The majority of our childcare families recieve state assistance. We have Young Star as our rating system. We are a 4 out of 5 star center due to several teachers not having Bachelor's degrees. Our daycare can't afford to pay the workers more as their isn't room in the budget. Our playground was in need of an update, it was getting old, unsafe, and no longer met state requirements, they had to completely change the plan as they didn't have the $50-60K to overhaul it they way they wanted. They've tried fundraiser after fundraiser. This is a poor community, they parents don't have extra money.  There is no way they could create a budget that would include mobey to pay for the teachers to go back to school. They would go bankrupt. The only salvation is that the state of Wisconsin has scholarships for those in the early childhood field, who want to earn a Bachelor's degree. I think the requirement is great in theory, but hard to put into practice everywhere until someone steps up to help cover the cost of tuition.

    ------------------------------
    Heather Finnegan
    Preschool Teacher
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School
    Delavan WI
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Diana,
    I hope you are doing well.  I wanted to jump in here to address your concerns regarding Standard 6. NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Program assesses the completed higher education of your administrators, teachers, and assistant teachers. The four assessment items related to staff qualifications within Standard 6: Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support are not required, so a program can miss these four items and still achieve accreditation. NAEYC believes that programs should employ teaching staff and pedagogical leaders who have specialized early childhood professional preparation and that higher program quality is linked to professionals with college-level ECE coursework. However, if a program is not meeting these items they can show through program wide professional development plans, staff supports, and intentional training opportunities that they support a highly qualified workforce which pursues consistent and regular learning to stay current in their practices. Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional concerns.  Have a great weekend.


    ------------------------------
    Kristen Johnson
    NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Teacher Qualifications

    Posted 9 days ago
    Kristen,

    Thank you very much for the clarification.  We certainly do want highly qualified teachers and will be working with who we have to hopefully move them in the right direction.  I am also hopeful that the Apprenticeship model in Philly will be available state wide sooner rather than later as I believe this will be a most beneficial option for the few of our staff that are without degrees.

    ------------------------------
    Diana Verbeck
    Executive Director
    Danville Child Development Center
    Danville PA
    ------------------------------