25th Anniversary Video Transcript

Shannon McGuire Bowman, Executive Director, Childcare Resources of Indian River:
For 25 years Childcare Resources has been changing the lives of children and families in our community. The organization is built upon a very strong foundation and that foundation starts with our three founders. They were early childhood educators themselves so they deeply understood what children and parents need in order to prepare a child, not only for kindergarten but for life.

Kathy Marshall, Founding Member, Childcare Resources of Indian River:
From 1988 to 2001, I was the Pre-K Coordinator for the early intervention program which was a school district program. This was a pre-k program that was designed for the free lunch students in the school district. One of the things that became very apparent to me as I would register children for this program, was the fact that many of them were overqualified.

I had these conversations with Sandy Kahle and Sherry Waddell and together I think we pretty much determined that there was this whole segment of the population that needed services and couldn't get them. These families weren't well off and therefore they couldn't, they couldn't afford a quality program for their children even though they were working.

Sandy Kahle, Founding Member, Childcare Resources of Indian River:
We did a draft of a program that we thought would be helpful and we presented it first to the County Commission and then we presented it to the school board. Developing the mission of Childcare Resources was really one of the very easiest things because the words and the philosophy of it were right there in the NAEYC, National Association for Education of Young Children, literature and we had three centers: Community Preschool, Learning Nest, and Maitland Farm Preschool, and later we added Nanny's.

By the fall of '94, we hired a Family Resource Coordinator. She worked with families. She helped them with housing issues, with mental health issues, education, with work issues. She was a wonderful support to the families which, then in turn, gave support to the children. And so it all came together with the children in the middle, family support on the one hand and center support, in terms of training, on the other. And the basis of it all was the community.

Sherry Waddell, Founding Member, Childcare Resources of Indian River:
One of the main missions of Childcare Resources was to have quality preschool, and we felt the best way to provide for that quality was for our schools to be accredited with national accreditation, which was NAEYC. So that was one of the standards that we required of our preschools and contracting centers. The priorities of those that I felt were very important were teacher-child ratio, parent involvement, the curriculum provided through accreditation, so that was a priority of any of the contracting centers, that they would have to, within a certain period of time, get their accreditation through NAEYC.

Childcare Resources today is providing for our teachers throughout the county three and four workshops annually. Some of the training has been in STEM, math, fine motor and Conscious Discipline. The exciting thing in the present, 25 years later, is that these standards are still being met. The teacher training, parent involvement. We have opened our own school. I have to say to have been in the beginning of it; It is so exciting and just a wonderful thing to know that we are providing this need in our County.

Shannon McGuire Bowman, Executive Director, Childcare Resources of Indian River:

Over the years, there have been multiple individuals who have served as a member of our Board of Directors. Their work, vision, and investment in Childcare Resources inspires those of us who are currently working or volunteering on behalf of the mission. The human brain Is built over time and from the bottom up. This process begins before birth and goes well into adulthood. This is why quality early childhood education is so important.

Sabrina Reese, 2006 Program Parent:

I always wanted to have my child to be somewhere where they could get a good start and I know how important that is. I found Childcare Resources through the United Way. Everyone was very, very helpful, helping us get into the program where normally, someone being a working parent like I was, never really qualified for assistance or anything like that. So that was very instrumental for me being able to get her in there and get that good start.

The most important thing was the, the teachers that were in place at Community Preschool when she was there. They were caring, and, and they were knowledgeable, and they connected with the children. Jayla made connections with her preschool teachers that she still remembers today. When she entered into kindergarten, she was more than prepared.

Jayla Brown, Former Student:

I go to Oslo Middle. I play for Oslo Middle basketball team. Right now, my favorite subject is math. I want to join the Navy SEAL program.

Sabrina Reese, 2006 Program Parent:

Having, getting comfort knowing that there are well-rounded organizations that are out there to help young kids, you know, get a start, so that they can learn to love education, to love learning. You know, to make it to where it's not a chore. Coming in here today, has just pumped that up in me and, oh man, look at all this stuff that these young kids can learn and go and grow and I love it.

Tom Patrick, 1994 Program Parent:

Early '90s, at that time I was a single father, uh, had no clue what I was doing, and Dominic and I needed help. Childcare Resources provided me with the foundation that I needed to know that I could, I could do this. Childcare Resources was there for emotional support, financial support, and directed me in a perfect direction, so I could try to parent as to the best of my ability at such a young age. Childcare Resources gave me what I call the foundation for me to be able to succeed and for my child, most importantly, to succeed and grow up and become a, uh, a phenomenal human being.

He flourished at Nanny's. He became more self-confident at Nanny's. He became more social-interactive. Life lessons for him as he started to figure it out in his formative years, which gave me peace of mind and gave me even more confidence. And all you want is for your child to have a chance at a good life.

He is now 26 years old. He graduated from college over two years ago, head of marketing at Tropic Ocean Airways, which is a seaplane company in Fort Lauderdale. I couldn't have asked for a better child.

Shannon McGuire Bowman, Executive Director, Childcare Resources of Indian River:

In our first year of service, Childcare Resources reached 24 children throughout our community. Today, we're reaching thousands of children through our school, our contracting schools, and our outreach programs, including our professional development workshops, coaching, and early childhood educator credentialing program.

Over the next few years, we're going to be focusing on three main areas. Raising awareness for the benefits of high-quality early childhood education, because all children need access to a high-quality learning environment. We're also going to be working towards strengthening and expanding our current programming to support the early childhood community. And, finally, we will be working towards maintaining and growing our funding and focusing on sustainability so Childcare Resources can be here for generations to come.

Childcare Resources has proven over the last 25 years that when children and families are given access to high-quality early childhood learning experiences, they not only thrive in school, but they thrive in life.