Garfield Heights, OH 44125
- Tell Us About Your Program
My first job at age 12 was to babysit the young children in my family and extended family during the summer months. I married and came to Cleveland in 1968. My husband and I usually worked the same shift but sometimes different shifts. To compound our problems, our new daughter was born with severe food allergies – this was a constant concern. We needed safe and suitable family childcare, which didn’t exist in East Cleveland at the time. So, we decided that I would start my first childcare business in 1970. My journey in caring for children has been nonstop as there has always been a need for it in the community. Later, in 1999, my full time job as an electronic assembler ended after 25 years, and so did my life as I knew it. I started providing full time child care for my grandchildren and others again. Before long, I was “tricked” in 2000 into changing my major from nursing to early childhood education. This has been a decision I have never regretted.
- When did you first become an Ohio Healthy Program
- What appealed to you about Ohio Healthy Program? What made you want to apply?
I had the honor of working on some of the guidelines for healthy eating and living manual (OCCRRA’s Family Style Dining Guide). The personal support, educational information, and equipment has been a welcome asset to my family childcare program.
- What has been your biggest challenge and how did you work to overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been to explain, and expedite the new addition of whole grains not whole wheat to the new meal patterns/plans. As especially, the importance of breaking the fast from the night before, with a nutritional breakfast. I began to educate myself more by reading more books and articles on the importance of nutrition as it pertains to growth and development in young children. I shared that information, as well as recipes, with the families that I provide service. As a part of my lesson plan, I read and shared books with colorful pictures of different food groups with my children.
- What would you like us to know about you and Ohio Healthy Program?
Becoming a part of Ohio Healthy Program was one of the best decisions I made for my family childcare program, along with my personal need for eating nutritional meals and daily exercise. Because I am a diabetic. So to add daily and consistently healthy meals plus walking 2 miles daily, helped to bring my weight and A1C to an excellent and healthy level.
- What is one goal that you have for the future?
To continue gaining knowledge in childcare, nutrition, current events, and continually serve as a community activist, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to grow old gracefully.
We also plan to talk and prepare for our upcoming garden. It’s extremely important at My Nana Too, to continually promote the importance of eating healthy, along with daily exercise, whether it’s indoor or outdoor.
Betty has been in childcare for 57 years! Thank you Betty for your passion and commitment to young children. We hope you will have many more years influencing young lives!