ABC's and 123's:

A Blog by Action for Children

Meet the Leadership Team: Kat Glenn-Applegate


“Who are you and what are you doing here?” is a time-honored question at Action for Children that reflects our culture of curiosity and passion for what we do. To get to know the team that’s driving the work forward at Action for Children, we’re turning the question around on our Leadership Team!

Who are you and what are you doing here?

I’m Kat Glenn-Applegate, and I’m the Director of Child Care and Education Initiatives. That means I have the pleasure of overseeing and supporting all our work that serves child care programs and professionals: Helping programs to improve their quality through SUTQ or otherwise, providing coaching and coursework to professionals earning their CDA, helping individuals open their own in-home child care business, administering scholarships through Franklin County RISE, and supporting administrators to improve their business and financial practices, offering a range of professional development supports, and more. I love my work!

How did you get here?

I started out as a child care teacher in a diverse community outside of Boston. I loved it, and I’m still in touch with many of those families. I’ve long been fascinated by children and their developing brains, but teaching opened my eyes to the experience of families. I was driven to better understand how different families define “quality” in child care, and how they decide where to enroll their children (if they have a choice). I went to The Ohio State University to earn my Ph.D., and then became a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware – my hometown. I led the Early Childhood Licensure Program, and loved working with the teachers-in-training and elementary schools during my eight years there. When an opportunity with Action for Children came along, I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve been with Action for Children for five years now. I love our mission-driven work, our no-exceptions commitment to justice and equity, and the dedication and heart my colleagues give to their work.

What excites you about your role ?

Child care is complicated, no matter the angle you approach it from — that of an early childhood professional, a parent, an employer, or a community-minded individual. I appreciate the puzzle and the contradictions, alongside the absolutes – high-quality child care can be life-changing, and every child and family deserves that option. I’m grateful and humbled that I get to play a role in improving early care and education in Central Ohio.

What do you want people to know about Action for Children?

We live our mission and values. They’re not just words on our webpage. They’re demonstrated in our work, our relationships, and our impact.  

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