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Program helps future childcare professionals

Guest Columnist

Sandra Gunn’s goal is to be director at a childcare center and she is not going to stop until she gets there.
Her story is one that is inspiring because in addition to working full time at Toddler Time Child Care Center in Gastonia, she has four children at home that range in age from 5 to 9 years old. She is working on getting her bachelor’s degree in Birth through Kindergarten with a special interest in Early Childhood Education.
With help from the Individual Professional Development Program (IPDP), which is funded through the Partnership for Children, she said her dream is going to be a reality very soon.
“Three more semesters!” she said.
The IPDP program provides financial incentives and recognition for childcare professionals who complete college courses.
“It’s an encouraging program as well as an incentive,” Gunn said. “It gets tough to juggle everything.”
Sandra first started her journey in 2007 — first at Western Carolina University and now with Gaston College. She has always wanted to be a teacher and loves working in childcare.
“With early childhood if you do it the right way it can be so fun and rewarding!” she said. “When you are hands on at their level the job is so easy!”
Interested in learning more about IPDP?
In order to qualify, you must be a teaching staff, family child care home provider or child care center director who is working at least 30 hours per week with children 0-5 in licensed child care facilities in Lincoln and Gaston Counties during nine of the previous twelve months at the time of application. Your undergraduate major must be Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Birth-Kindergarten or a closely related field.
Payment for the program is based on documented completion of grade “B” or better in courses from regionally accredited colleges. Payments will be made for up to 66 semester hours for an associate degree and up to 130 semester hours for a bachelor’s degree.
Applications for IPDP are submitted for Summer/Fall and spring classes (twice a year.)
For more information contact the Partnership at 704-922-0900704-922-0900.
Did you know?
The week of the Young Child is April 6–12, 2014. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest early childhood education association, with nearly 80,000 members and a network of over 300 local, state, and regional affiliates. The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
Local free events:
“Family Fun Day” will be held Saturday, April 12 from 12:00- 4:00 p.m. on the grassy square in front of Gaston County Museum, 131 W. Main St., Dallas.  There will be child-friendly activities for all ages including a storyteller, balloon artist, a Cardboard Challenge, music/movement activities, various art activities, parachutes, etc.
“For The Fun of It Day!” will be held Wednesday, April 9 from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Shelby City Park Playground. There will be a carrousel and train rides, a smoke house, art, science, parachute play and a puppet show.
Save the Date!
Family Share Night-Tuesday, April 29, 2014 5-8 p.m.
Help raise money for PFCLG by simply enjoying delicious Bojangles chicken! Join us at the Dallas location (1017 Dallas Cherryville Hwy.) 10 % of proceeds go to PFCLG!
Apple Festival- September 20, 2014, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.-Come visit our Booth in the Kid’s Orchard!
Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?
The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.
Connect with us:


Flickr, www.flickr.com/pfclg
Twitter: Ready4School
Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator for the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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