To begin with, the short and sweet…
From rural Colorado, to New York City, to Northern California, my work in childcare has lead me to children of all ages who come from a diverse array of backgrounds, familial situations, and walks of life. The many different experiences I've had with the families I have worked with have all shaped the core practices that define my approach to childcare. My philosophy centers on creative and imaginative play, storytelling, holistic child development practices, and positive discipline techniques. I value giving each child the freedom and space to explore and learn in a self-directed way, while also setting appropriate boundaries and expectations. I want each child that I work with to know that they are safe, respected, supported, and loved when I am with them. Every child I have the privilege of getting to know is a source of joy and growth for me personally- something that I always consider to be a beautiful gift.
And for a slightly more detailed version….
My experience working with children began in the Summer of 2015 when I was part of a two-week service immersion project to rural, South-Central Colorado. My group stayed and worked at a shelter and transitional housing program there, part of which included an after school program and enrichment center for children whose families were living at the shelter. Before this experience, I hadn't sought out opportunities to spend time with children. During those ten days in Colorado, I fell in love with the kids that we spent time with and came to realize that working with children was a vocational calling that I needed to explore more itnentionally!
Upon coming back to New York at the end of that Summer, I began to work as a sitter for families in the city. The time I got to spend with the children I cared for became a part of my routine that I valued immensely for my final two years of undergrad. I continued this work regularly until I graduated from Fordham University (with honors and a BA in Philosophy and Theology) in June of 2017.
I then moved to Sacramento, California to work at the Mustard Seed School--a private, temporary, prek-8 school for children whose families are experiencing homelessness. I supported the students and parents at Mustard Seed in a variety of ways, including morning and afternoon transportation, accompaniment to doctors' and dentists' appointments, and one-on-one work with some of our emotionally and behaviorally higher need students. This experience was the most challenging, fulfilling, heartbreaking, and joyful year of my life, and it was an immense privilege to patiently and lovingly accompany the students at Mustard Seed along a small part of their life journeys.
Since returning to New York from Sacramento, I've been lucky enough to continue to form beautiful relationships with the families I've worked with through SmartSitting. I'm always excited to get to know new families and begin a new journey together!