“Once you get started with YoungStar and see what you have available…it’s well worth it.”
– Suzette Rembert, Owner
Doll’s Day Care, Odanah
Suzette started her family child care program, Doll’s Day Care, 3 years ago. She was brand new to the early childhood field, after several years working as a card dealer in Vegas, but with 5 children and 7 step children of her own, not to mention several grandchildren, she was quite familiar with being a caregiver. She began her program to provide care for her grandchildren. Since then, child care has become her calling. After hearing about the opportunity for families attending her child care to receive state assistance if she participated in YoungStar, Suzette contacted Licensing. She started working with her Technical Consultant (TC), Jessie Millington, in the spring of 2014. Now, Doll’s Day Care is the first family child care program on the Bad River Reservation to earn a 3 Star and Suzette has plans to expand her program. “This is basically what I want to do now,” said Suzette. “ I want to take care of kids.”
Back to School
The transition to child care provider didn’t happen overnight. When Suzette started in YoungStar she wanted to continue her education to strengthen her program. Jessie guided Suzette through the professional development questionnaire and connected her to T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin for assistance in paying for her education. Suzette has moved on to earn her Infant and Toddler Credential and will complete her associate degree at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in May. She is already looking into possible schools where she can earn her bachelor’s degree in early childhood. In addition to school and her daily work as a child care provider, Suzette works full time as a Program Manager for “Family Foundations,” a program that supports children and their parents prenatally until children start school. Between this job, her child care program and school, Suzette spends most of her waking hours working to ensure children and their families are well-supported and cared for. Her program reflects her commitment. “Since YoungStar my program has changed a lot for the better,” observed Suzette. “It used to be, ‘okay I baby-sit and that’s it.’” Now, said Suzette, she views her program as a business and herself as a professional. With the support of her TC she has program policies in place, a budget, a philosophy statement, a developmentally supportive curriculum, and a program environment that reflects the needs of the children in her care.
Currently, Suzette cares for four of her grandchildren at her home, but she is working to start a group child care program for other children and families to meet a need that she sees in her area. Meanwhile, it is the little things, said Suzette, that keep her interested in working on her program. For instance, taping paper towel tubes to the walls for the kids to put balls through. “It was so simple,” noted Suzette, “and my little 2-year-old grandson is always like, ‘C’mon Grandma get on the floor and let’s play!’ Suzette admits that looking back, she had her moments early on in YoungStar of feeling overwhelmed. But her TC supported her through it and since then, she has come a long way. “Once you get started with YoungStar and see what you have available it’s well worth it,” assured Suzette.
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