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March 1, 2017

2017 National Child Care Teacher Award Winners


Roses and Awards

2017 National Child Care Teacher Award Recipients

It is with great pride that the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation presents this year's National Child Care Teacher Award Recipients.  The TLLCCF has a long tradition of recognizing and honoring child care teachers.  The National Child Care Teacher Awards is its signature event, and it is the event that is referred to as being the "Jewel" in the Foundation's crown. 

The Foundation’s Founders and Board of Directors will honor 50 child care teachers with its prestigious National Child Care Teacher Award on Saturday, May 6 at the celebratory Awards Ceremony. The 50 teachers are being honored for their dedication and excellence in providing high-quality child care to the children in their care. They will be honored at a special ceremony held at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Philadelphia.

Applicants from across the country and on U.S. Military bases and installations around the world see themselves as a group of professionals shaping and changing the future, one child at a time. The TLLCCF views each child care teacher who applies for the award as a winner. Even if they aren’t an official winner, they are still a winner. They are winners, because the application requires them to think about their classroom and the children they teach. It necessitates them to create a picture using only words to convey, to people who will never see their classroom, what it looks like and how it meets the needs of the children. They describe their typical morning schedule and how they interact with their students. They must also create an enhancement project for their classroom and discuss what their role in the project will be and how it will benefit the children. As a result, all of the applicants gain a new perspective of their classroom, their teaching-style and the children in their care. It’s a win-win for all. We congratulate this year’s recipients, and those who applied. To those who didn’t win this year, we certainly hope you will apply for the 2018 awards.

This year’s award winners’ hail from 25 of the lower 48 states, one from Hawaii, and two from U.S. Air Force Bases- Italy and Japan. Forty-three of the winners are from child care centers; four are family providers and three are group home provider. Many of the award-winning recipients hold advanced degrees. This is due in part to the increased number of states regulating the quality of child care. This year there are 13 winners with Associate degrees, 18 with Bachelor’s degrees, 6 hold Master’s degrees, five have high school degrees and four indicated they are attending college.  Of the 50 winners, seven has Child Development Associate credentials or the equivalent. We continue to see an increase in the level of education completed by the applications we receive each year for the National Child Care Teacher Awards.

There are eight who teach in infant classrooms birth to 1 year olds; five teach toddlers (1 to 2 ½ year olds), 30 teach older toddlers and preschoolers (3 to 5 year olds) and seven who teach a mixed age group from birth to 12 year olds. Since its inception in 1994, and including the class of 2017, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation has recognized 943 child care teachers with its prestigious National Child Care Teacher Award and presented awards totaling more than $902,000 in support of recipients and their classrooms. The awards program is a success in large part due to the support of title sponsor Children’s TYLENOL® and event sponsor Children’s ZYRTEC®. Both brands are a part of the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 

The Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation takes great pride and pleasure in presenting the 2017 winners.

Congratulations to the 2017 National Child Care Teacher Award Recipients!

Amy Ahola, Child Central Station, Marquette, MI

*Dinah Arnott, Child Development Center for Learning and Research @ Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Elsa Bosma, Puddle Jumpers Childcare, Shelburne, VT

*Paul Caggianese, Clark Community College, Vancouver, WA

Helen CeLes McCrae, Yoiko Child Development Center, APO, AP, Japan

Junko Cizadlo, Offutt Child Development Center 2, Offutt AFB, NE

Josie Collazo, Green Byrne Child Care Center, Philadelphia, PA

Adrienne Shawn Donaldson, Jitta Bug Learning Center LLC, North Miami, FL

Melissa Duguay, Tender Care Learning Center, Hamden, CT

Christina Ford, Westminster Mayfair Presbyterian Church Child Care Center, Philadelphia, PA

*Allison Fritsch, Encompass Early Education & Care Inc., DePere, WI

Erin Guzikowski, Samuel Paley ELC, Philadelphia, PA

Bridgette Halcomb, Riverside Child Care and Learning Center, Riverview, MI

Laura Halley, Tender Care Learning Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Kimberly Hargrove, Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool, Chapel Hill, NC

Ann Harmon, Caring Hands Daycare, La Salle, IL

Heather Hausladen, Kinderberry Hill Child Development Center, Plymouth, MN

Mary Ellen Hussey, Metro North Children's Learning Center, Malden, MA

Lisa Jarosiewicz, Playschool Child Care Inc., Maplewood, MN

Lillian Kazanis, Montessori Academy of Cape Cod, N. Falmouth, MA

*Joni Khan, Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire, Sioux Falls, SD

Lanai Koep, Kinderberry Hill Child Development Center, Edina, MN

Dana Kraus, Tender Care Learning Center, Bethel Park, PA

Stephanie Krause, Bloom Children's Center, Bend, OR

Elzbieta Krzyszkiewicz, Educational Playcare, Farmington, CT

Tina Levesque, Tender Care Learning Center, Avon, CT

Jennifer Massella, Tender Care Learning Center, Wexford, CT

Nicole McLaughlin, F.M. Kirby Children's Center, Madison, NJ

Jennifer Miller, United States Airforce Academy Child Development Center, Colorado Springs, CO

Amy Mincey, Discovery Point, Cumming, GA

*Siobian Minish, Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center, Athens, GA

Victoria Murray, Tender Care Learning Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Elizabeth Peralta, Area 1 Child Development Center Aviano AB, APO, AE, Italy

Jennifer Pikus, The Harmony School at Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ

Jaimie Rice, Tender Care Learning Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Melissa Robinson, Kinderberry Hill Child Development Center, Minneapolis, MN

Michelle Roeszler, Curious Kids Childcare, Fargo, ND

Lisa Rubinow, Columbus Early Learning Center, Columbus, OH

Carrie Ann Russell, YWCA Developmental Preschool, Hio, HI

Nicole Savage, Tender Care Learning Center Jefferson, Clairton, PA

*Ashlee Shill, Apple Tree Children's Center, Iowa City, IA

Jill Skinner, Ms. Jill's Place Child Care and Preschool, Great Falls, MT

*Pat Smith, The Children's Center of Oswego, Oswego, NY

*Michele Diane Southall, Grand Forks AFB Child Development Center, Grand Forks AFB, ND

Heidi Sowers, McRaven Child Development Center, Ellsworth AFB, SD

Glenda Torres, Borough of Manhattan Community College Early Childhood Center, New York, NY

*Ilse Wilson, Fairyland Family Child Care, Sandy, UT

Angela Wooten, The Child Development Coop, Baton Rouge, LA

Noelle Woytko, Childrens Village Child Care Center, Philadelphia, PA

*Stacie Zielinski, Educational Playcare, Berlin, CT

Recipients with an * before their name scored in the top ten. They are in the running for the Helene Marks Award and the winner will be named the National Child Care Teacher of the Year.  The winner of the Helene Marks Award will be announced on Saturday, May 6, at the evening ceremony.

Save the Date


Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation will be hosting its annual Golf, Bridge & Games Classic on Monday, October 2, 2017.  Committees for the annual event will be forming in April.  Contact to join the planning and the fun!

Become a committee member today!

What can you do to make a difference?

Dear Friends,

What can you do to feel better?

The world has become a terribly scary place. People are struggling to make a living. Life is hard! We can’t count on our President and Congress to make all our ills disappear. We can’t expect others to make our life easier. A lot of problems are beyond our control and we feel helpless.

There are some ways that we can rise up and make decisions that can change the way we live. Kenneth Cole wrote “You make a living by what you do and you make a life by what you give.”

That giving takes on many forms. By doing for others in whatever way possible, money, volunteering, or just doing something nice for someone. Not only do you make them feel better but it lightens your load and puts a smile on your face, uplifting your spirits.

We can change, we can. The TLLCCF has a close knit group of people. We work together to change child care for the children, teachers, parents and the country. It brings a sense of purpose, enjoyment and pleasure to all who participate.

Give from your heart!

Kay Lokoff

STEM for Preschoolers meets with Success

Mandy Gutshall
2016 Terri Lynne Lokoff / Children’s Tylenol
National Child Care Teacher Award Recipient
Dickinson College Children’s Center

When I proposed to implement a STEM component to my curriculum, I knew it was going to be a step outside my comfort zone as a teacher. Science is not a strength of mine, but I was and still am very enthusiastic and excited about the challenge.

 Upon returning to my classroom at Dickinson College Children’s Center after the inspirational speakers, as well as the encouragement from the entire Lokoff family and foundation at the award ceremony weekend; I began ordering and the materials to implement my project. I couldn’t stop talking to my preschool co-workers about the STEM project and how we were going to implement the lessons. We are updating our current curriculum as of August, and we have begun to plan lessons using the STEM materials that have been ordered not only in my classroom but the other two preschool classrooms as well. The only challenge I have encountered so far has been making sure that I am dividing the materials up as evenly as possible between the three preschool classrooms as I had planned and allocated funds to do so. Therefore, it has been a fairly small challenge.

As the engineer-a-coaster sets and Giant Roller Ramp sets arrived from Lakeshore I couldn’t wait to explore it, but my preschoolers were just as excited to explore it and they insisted that we open it that very afternoon. I found out that implementing Stem at a three-year-old level was rather simple. I told them what the goal was for the ramp and coaster set and they lead the exploration by asking for help to build the track and adapting it to create a different outcome. I am finding the children using the materials almost every day independently, I am very impressed with the knowledge and understanding that my preschoolers are showing already. Two weeks ago my class and one of the other preschool classrooms spent two weeks engaged in science experiments. There were several days where we set up teacher led centers using the materials that were ordered with the Terri Lynne Lokoff award. One center was using the STEM Ramp from Becker School Supply that was demonstrated by Ms. Leslie Eslinger as she spoke to us at the award ceremony weekend. During this center we explored sending cars down the ramp and predicted the outcome of the speed and distance as we adjusted the incline of the ramp. Another center was using the Alexandria Moulding ramps with golf and ping pong balls. The third center was making a roller coaster with a set quantity of track with the Giant Roller Ramp set.

These are just a few of the examples of the experiences that have occurred since the materials for my STEM project has arrived.  I am becoming more confident in my ability to explore and guide the learning experiences with my preschoolers, and I am beyond impressed by the scientific understanding and curiosity that my students are showing. I can’t wait to see where their curiosity and knowledge leads them as the year continues.

Preventing the spreading of the flu

It’s flu season and everyday people are exposed to the virus throughout our day whether it’s at work, school, at the store in our communities. A few situations put folks at greater risk than others such as working in hospitals, flight attendants, child care teachers and other professionals who work in close contact.  A few reminders help prevent the flu or spreading it.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends several of the following:

Wash your hands. This is important before and after preparing food, before eating, and after using the bathroom.

Wash your hands after you’ve been out in public areas. If you can’t wash your hands immediately, Do NOT touch your face – eyes, mouth or nose.

Stay home when you are ill

Don’t share personal items

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Always throw tissues away after each use. Wash your hands. If you are not near water, then use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage your stress, stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods.

TLLCCF Tributes from January to November 2016


Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation tributes are a thoughtful gift for any occasion. To remember or honor a friend or loved one you may give a gift in their name to the Foundation.  Whether you’re honoring someone you love or admire or remembering someone’s life, your gift has a lasting impact and makes a positive statement for the children and teachers. Your donations help us to move the Foundation’s work and mission forward. Tribute cards may be purchased in packs of five cards for $22 or can be given individually through a donation at the Foundation. Donate Today!  View Tributes from January to November 2016 - In Honor of     In Memory of

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100 Ross Rd., Suite 160
King of Prussia, PA 19406