“I have a reputation of being a person who seeks knowledge,” said Christina Nelson, an Early Childhood Studies student at the New England Academic Center. “I’m not afraid to ask questions and look for answers. I am anxious to apply skills and best practices in a manner that enables me and the people around me to grow.”
That perseverance has enabled Nelson to build a successful childcare business, Mountain View Child Care, as well as mentor other childcare providers in the Vermont Birth to 5 program, a plan that matches experienced childhood professionals with new and less experienced providers.
“When I started out 20 years ago, the definition of quality was left to interpretation,” said Nelson who mentors 37 providers. “Today research-based methods, professional development and resources are available to help childcare providers be the best they can be.”
Nelson’s love of learning and teaching is how she entered the childcare profession.
“I made a commitment to myself that I would teach my young children something new every day. For example, I would show them a caterpillar for the first time or show them how water flows,” said Nelson. “I had a blended family. There were four children under the age of 6. Money was tight and the different ages made it impossible to put all of the children in day care at the same time. I thought why not open my own place.”
Twenty years later Nelson is still pursuing goals. In addition to running her childcare center and working as a mentor, an instructor for child care professional development, a PD Specialist for the Council for Professional Recognition, she is also a certified EMT.
Her professional goal is to complete her college degree.
“A college degree is a sign of professionalism and credibility,” said Nelson. “Union fits my busy schedule and offers the flexibility I need to complete my degree. Who knows, maybe I will serve as a role model for others, maybe my mentees, it’s never too late to complete your college degree.”