July 2023 Early Childhood Champions

Featured Spotlight

The Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative, in partnership with We Care for Kids, launched a year-long campaign to highlight the importance of the early childhood workforce. Each month for the next 12 months, we will highlight two winners who were nominated by their communities to win the Early Childhood Champion award. Each winner receives a $1,000 gift and a plaque in honor of their commitment to excellence and service to their communities. Learn more about our winners below!

Ana Yumul | Omaha, NE

Ana was born in El Salvador, raised in Los Angeles, and is the first in her family to attend college. She graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. She is the owner of Bella’s Daycare in Omaha, NE.

Ana began her career as a child care provider as a way to stay at home with her newborn daughter. As her baby grew, she recognized the need for social interactions and decided to open her own child care business. Ana says children make her life important, and she learns from them just as much as she teaches them. “Our children are the future of this world, but us providers pave the way for their future. Let us do whatever we can to support their dreams.”

Ana is honored and humbled to be named an Early Childhood Champion. “It means the world to me because I love what I do, and it feels amazing that someone sees my passion for children. I pour my heart out day in and day out.”

Congratulations, Ana!

“Mrs. Ana has been an awesome provider for my almost 2 year old. He has learned so much and I would say he is advanced for his age by the learning skills Ana teaches all the kids. She goes above and beyond making sure the kids are all taken care of and achieving the growing and learning skills the kids need to continue advancing in life. Bella’s has been the first daycare my little one has attended, you know you’ve picked the perfect one when your kid is always so happy at drop off and doesn’t want to leave when it’s pick up time!”

Ana Yumul Nomination Submission

Christina Crawford | Falls City, NE

Christina is the owner of Breezy Hill Childcare in Falls City, NE. Like many others in her profession, Chris started her business as a method to stay at home with her daughter. She has since been a child care provider for more than 27 years. “As a young mother, I applied for a bank job and received the call that I had been hired; however, I just could not leave my baby.”

Chris has loved her journey to becoming a licensed Family Child Care Home. “Seeing the children grow and learn is what I love most!”

Winning this award has made Chris feel appreciated and recognized as a professional in her career. “It means I am doing what I am supposed to do and that I’m appreciated for it. I am so grateful I was chosen for this award! Thank you, thank you, thank you soooo very much!!”

Congratulations, Chris!

“Chris doesn’t just ‘watch’ my children for me. She loves them, she cares for them and she teaches them. This is very evident in the way my three children speak about their ‘Chrissy’! They are always excited to see her and usually don’t want to leave! I especially love watching Chris interact with my kids. She always speaks to them in such a calm and loving manner. I know how much a handful JUST my three can be and she has many more but always handles the kids with patience. I never worry when my kids are at daycare because I know that they are in the best hands. ”

Christina Crawford Nomination Submission

The Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative is a proud partner of We Care for Kids, a statewide campaign to build support for quality early childhood education in Nebraska. Join us and sign up to receive campaign updates, learn about events in your community, and get access to resources to help raise awareness.