CDA Spotlight – Tina Staehr

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The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized in early childhood education; the CDA presents child care providers with opportunities in career advancement, in-service hours, and new job opportunities. In this series, we’re highlighting providers who have taken the step to further the quality of their care by completing their CDA! Get to know them below!

Tina Staehr

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and something you’d like people to know about you. 

I am a mom of two grown children and a grandmother to a 4-year-old girl and a 3-month-old girl. I love having my grandchildren in my daycare and being part of their growth and development. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family, go to church, go on walks, read and watch old movies.

How long have you been working in the child care industry and how did you begin your journey as a provider?

I have been working in the child care industry for 37 years. I began working for Kiddie Kollege during my second year at Union College in 1986. I learned about child care from my advisor when choosing to work with children. I began working at Kiddie Kollege in 1986 when I started taking classes in Early Childhood Education. I became a lead teacher of 3-year-olds later that year, switching to 4-year-olds after the birth of my son in 1988. I continued as a head teacher until I opened my own in-home child care in August of 1995. In the beginning, I was a Home 1 child care with 8 children but soon switched to a Home 2 with a secondary helper and 12 children. Tina’s Treasurehouse has now been open for 28 years

Describe your experience completing your CDA – what made you want to obtain it? Were you impacted by the pandemic? If so,

For the last 10 years, I have worked to improve myself as a provider/teacher by working with FCCERS, NAPSACC, and making changes to become accredited. Through the T.E.A.C.H scholarship program, I have been provided the opportunity to work on completing and obtaining a degree in Early Childhood. The pandemic slowed my child care for about six months. I lost one family and had several other families stay home, paying only half their tuition. I am fortunate that God has helped me maintain my business without ever having to shut down. I never had the thought to close my child care knowing I still had clients who needed care for their child. It is my life and I love my job. I love making a difference in the lives of the children I teach and their families.

What is it like to be in the child care/education industry? What impact do you wish to make or are you making on the lives of
those in our community, both young and old? 

Being a home child care provider has been difficult in receiving respect from others in the community without being labeled a babysitter. My hope is for the community to see home providers as professionals. I want the families in my child care to see me as part of the growth and development of their child(ren). I want to help children be able to tackle challenges, build knowledge and grow up safe and healthy.

If you could change one thing about child care in our community, across our state, or even around the world, what would you
wish to change?

I believe home child care needs to be provided with continued support. We need to have access to more grants for improvements, and expenses are needed to provide a safe and healthy environment. We should have many of the same opportunities provided as centers.

What do you wish other people knew about child care/education in our community?

I believe people should know that child care provides a foundation for future learning. It helps children develop the skills they need to become functioning adults.