The Action for Children Early Childhood Educator of the Year award honors the hard work and dedication of home and center-based early child care providers, and the impact they have on the lives and development of children ages birth to 5. Strong families, vibrant communities and high-quality early education build a solid foundation for children to succeed, which is why we asked you-  parents, guardians, and administrators to nominate these extraordinary early childhood educators who do this important work each day.

The award is in its second year and received more than triple the number of nominations from the previous year.   Nominations were open to all licensed providers in the seven counties that Action for Children (AFC) serves, were accepted May 8- June 8. A committee then reviewed each application and selected a winner.

Action for Children is proud to present the 2018 Early Childhood Educator of the Year award to Nan Brent, a long-time preschool teacher at Laugh and Learn Daycare in Ashville, OH. Nan was presented with the award on Tuesday, July 31stat the Pickaway County Library to a packed room filled with family, friends, co-workers and students, both past and present.

Jan Betz, Director of Quality initiatives at AFC, said: “It was her love for children and her ability to help children learn, have fun while learning, and learn through play (that made Nan the right choice for this award).”

Nan has spent that past 14 years investing in the lives of the children who have had the privilege to walk into her classroom and countless years impacting children in the community, including her own children and grandchildren. Last year, Nan completed 135 hours of training with AFC and became eligible to apply and successfully complete her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. Nan’s commitment to her own professional development is a testament to her ability to lead by example and foster a culture of learning in her classroom.

Kelsy Cox, who works with Nan said she is an amazing educator because, “She spends countless hours planning developmentally appropriate activities, individualized plans for every child, and centering her lesson plans on child interest. She makes learning fun for all of the children in her class but more importantly, she never allows a child to feel less about themselves if they are a little behind, she always helps each and every child no matter what their levels are. She carefully plans activities to suit every single child and encourages and supports them along the way.”

Thank you to everyone who participated and nominated providers doing this important work each day. We know that early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make in our community. We are honored to support the parents and dedicated providers who are investing in a bright future for our children.

Congratulations Nan Brent- we’re honored to have you in the field!