ABC's and 123's:

A Blog by Action for Children



When Action for Children introduced The BOSS and The Village in early 2022, it marked a significant milestone in addressing the evolving landscape of child care. In today’s world running a program while contending with rising operating costs, staffing shortages, and increased demand for care requires increasingly specialized expertise in taxes, operating strategies, and more to be able to keep serving young children – and that’s exactly what The BOSS and The Village offer professionals!

Annie Burden

Annie Burden has been running her in-home child care for years. But she was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2021, the reality of running a full-time program and all that comes with it hit hard. When her friend and fellow Family Child Care professional, Rhonda, introduced her to The Village by inviting her to one of their gardening events, it began to “plant seeds” for Annie. Not long after, Annie enrolled in The Village’s business series for Family Child Care owners, a collaborative partnership between Action for Children and national nonprofit All Our Kin.

Through the business series, Annie found not just technical know-how like how to calculate her space for tax purposes and create handbooks that protect her business and the families she serves – but a community that offered support and engagement. Annie didn’t miss a single class of the 10-week course and found great encouragement in the texts from her coaches and classmates as she progressed through her cancer treatments and her journey as an educator. “They supported me both as a human going through cancer AND a business,” Annie shared.

The free coaching Annie received gave her the encouragement and incentive to keep going and complete the course, and she graduated in the fall of 2023. Her biggest takeaway from the program? “Action for Children knows the quality of child care and the value of Family Child Care programs. They’re always pushing us and tying into the things that we need and didn’t know how to get.”

Alia Jaradat

Without an organization like Action for Children to offer resources and support, keeping up with the changing industry is hard, even for veterans like Alia Jaradat. Alia has been teaching for years in various roles, including as an ESL instructor and her current role as a center-based Preschool Director, where she’s worked for over sixteen years. “We’re short on staff; I’m an admin, I’m a preschool teacher in the morning, I’m a school-age teacher in the afternoon, there’s the food program, everything. And I know I’m missing important information… There’s just no time sometimes,” she admitted.

With the help of Action for Children, Alia has been able to not just stay afloat, but thrive and reach new goals. From access to professional development trainings and Step Up To Quality coaching, to Franklin County RISE applications and now operations support through The BOSS, Action for Children has been a solid, trusted resource throughout her journey as an educator. When a technical hiccup in the fall caused a major paperwork challenge for her program, her BOSS Coach, Arielle, was right by her side, helping her locate and type up documents, providing technical support, and making sure she had access to the information she needed to set her up for success.  “The BOSS has helped to make sure I get that information on time, whether it’s incentives, Step Up To Quality, or trainings. Every time I have a question, they’re there to help,” she shared.

“No matter what you need, we’re here for you!” is a phrase Alia has heard often from her BOSS Coaches, Arielle and Madeleine – and it’s kept her on track and empowered her to stretch to reach her business goals and dreams. “The free resources that Action for Children provided encouraged me to start my own child care center,” Alia said, beaming with pride that you can hear even over the phone. “I’m excited to serve all ages and own a center myself!”

Author: Christiana Sallard, Marketing & Communications Manager at Action for Children
Action for Children would also like to thank Annie and Alia for sharing their stories.

Action for Children’s BOSS and Village services are provided by Action for Children and funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and Action for Children’s generous donors. Learn More about The BOSS | The Village

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for central Ohio, and is committed to assuring quality early learning experiences for all children. Our services focus on transforming the lives of children by supporting the everyday heroes who most influence our children’s early growth; care givers, educators, parents, and guardians. Learn More. 

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