by Victoria Portugal
Sacramento – A group of nine childcare providers from throughout California were recently recognized at the State Capitol by public broadcasting stations KVIE (Sacramento) and KCET (Los Angeles) and members of the Legislature for their commitment to improving the quality of childcare in the state.
The Fourth Annual Childcare Provider of the Year ceremony was held to recognize the important role that informal childcare providers play in raising preschool age children and preparing them for Kindergarten. In California, an estimated 65 percent of children up to age 4 are either in the care of a parent or an informal caregiver, many of whom are eager for more information and training in early childhood education.
Three years ago Jade Stanford opened Get a Life Child Care, offering a nurturing family environment that helps alleviate some of the stress children go through during a family illness. After her husband’s battle with leukemia and experiencing the stress and turmoil this put on their own children, Jade felt called upon to open her home to children from families going through similar experiences.
She offers mentoring to parents and has created a huge support system for families as a whole. Moreover, she offers families resources to navigate through all the different areas of need, including psychological counseling, insurance counseling, parenting skills, holistic healthcare and more. Jade has taught us that one can take a tough life experience, learn from it and help others by offering a unique and profound service that is greatly needed
In September 2004, KCET launched two innovative programs that serve the needs of caregivers, “A Place of Our Own,” and its Spanish-language companion, “Los Niños en Su Casa.” The two daily talk shows are devoted to the needs of caregivers, providing practical advice and tips dealing with common issues such as discipline, education, nutrition, relationships and more. The shows are produced at KCET and air nationwide on PBS.
“The providers recognized here today play an important role as our children’s first teachers. They are the unsung heroes of our communities and I’m glad we can take part in celebrating their dedication to children and recognizing their accomplishments,” said Joyce Campbell, KCET vice president of education and children’s programming. “KCET and PBS stations throughout the country are pleased to assist all caregivers in carrying out their important responsibilities by airing these two unique programs.”
The nine childcare providers were all nominated as “Childcare Provider of the Week” by public broadcasting stations in their area. They have been profiled on the programs as well as on the show’s websites at www.aplaceofourown.org and www.losninosensucasa.org.