Member Spotlight

Do you love your job, have you benefited from a membership in Iowa AEYC, or are you a new member wanting to introduce yourself? Iowa AEYC started a new feature in our Weekly to spotlight members. Simply go to our Member Spotlight Questionnaire, enter your name and email,  and answer a few questions you select. Members will also be spotlighted here on our website so that both members and non-members can see the importance of our members and our association to the early childhood field.

For previous articles check out the archives

Joann Gansen
Joann was awarded the Friend of Young Children Award at this fall’s Early Care and Education Institute. The award is granted a to an Iowa AEYC member who has made a significant contribution to improving the quality of care and education of young children and/or to the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children. 
 
In her own child development home, Joann Gansen is accommodating and supportive, she has been flexible with opening and closing hours to meet the needs of parent's schedules that often include night and weekend care. Her flexibility has allowed parents with no other family or those with no options in the area to continue to work and provide for their children. 
 
Joann has been instrumental in getting others involved in early childhood. Joann has promoted Iowa AEYC to other child care providers and encouraged their involvement in local meetings. She promotes services and initiatives that will benefit young children. Her positive attitude and her willingness to continue to grow as a child care professional has helped her become a role model for other providers. 

Joann follows best practices and is always seeking more information to help better her program. Joann was instrumental in supporting and bringing in a speaker to talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and she readily works hard to share information on the childcare environment, contracts and policies, indoor and outdoor activities, and all everything that goes into quality care and education. 
 
Joann is an advocate for providers, the children that she serves, and their families and she is truly a Friend of Young Children.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Prior to becoming a child care provider I worked professionally as a Girl Scout Council staff member and a substance abuse prevention specialist. I had volunteered as a 4-H leader, Girl Scout leader and support chairperson. Most positions involved children and/or families. When the need for a little extra income after an early retirement it was a natural choice to look into child care. I was also interested in something my husband could share in also. He had considerable experience as a youth volunteer prior. 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT POSITION.
My husband and I own and operate a registered child development home. We serve 21 children, some full-time and many part-time. We currently have 11 children who attend school, most of which started with us as babies. Some are here just for breakfast and a ride to school, some before and after school, and some only on days there is no school. We offer rides to school, nights and weekends when needed, and love our children and grandchildren.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING THEIR CAREER IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION?
Ask questions, attend trainings, and lead with your heart. Don't be afraid to open your heart up to your families. We have wonderful relationships with our parents and love them as much as their children. 
 
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING AN IOWA AEYC MEMBER?
The friendship and the ready base of knowledge available if needed. 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A MEMBER?
The first time I joined was to meet ChildNet and QRS requirements. However, I stayed a member because I enjoyed the friendship and the chance to extend my knowledge base.
 
WHAT NAEYC/IOWA AEYC BENEFIT DO YOU MOST VALUE?
The print subscription to Young Children or Teaching Young Children. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASSOCIATION MEMORY?
I feel that bringing the ACEs training to child care providers was an important step to take. I feel good that I was able to help support this training. 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ENTER THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FIELD?
After spending the majority of my life working with children, it was a natural choice.
 
WHAT ARE SOME ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU ARE PARTICULARLY PROUD OF?
I’m so proud of my kiddos and the wonderful people they are growing up to be. I’m aslo proud of the relationship we have developed with our families.
 
TELL US SOMETHING FUN ABOUT YOURSELF.
A Girl Scout volunteer once shared a quote that went something like this… “One hundred years from now it will not matter what car I drove, clothes I work, or house I lived in, but it will matte that I was important in the life of a child.” This idea drives me each day … the responsibility that a child care provider has in the lives of these special little people. 

ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU WANT US TO KNOW?
I appreciate every person I encountered on my journey to becoming who I am today. 

Archives

Jill Uhlenberg 2017.11.7
Cherie Kennedy 2017.11.14
Mary Airy 2017.11.21
Kari Williams 2017.12.06
Tracy Ehlert 2017.12.13
Leann Andre 2018.01.09
Shannon Wilson 2018.01.30
Angela Lensch 2018.02.07
Vickie Brandenburg 2018.05.16
Joann Gansen 2018.11.28