A photo of Tammy Dannoff, with three small children in the frame with her

Tammy Dannhoff

Owner of Kids Are Us Family Child Care Center in Oshkosh

I decided to venture into this profession in 1989 to open my licensed home childcare center when my husband and I were unable to find quality, affordable childcare that met our expectations. I also credit my friends and family for their encouragement and my friends and neighbors who were the first families to enroll their children in my center, which set me on this career path.

After a few years I realized I really LOVED what I was doing and wanted to learn more for my own personal benefit as well as for the benefit of my students and parents. I went back to college and earned an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. I was juggling business, family, and school for 5 years, but I did it and graduated in 2000, with high honors! Since then, I have also graduated from Second Helping, an advanced enrichment course for Family Child Care Professionals, sponsored by 4C’s of Milwaukee and Target’s Family to Family Initiative. Additionally, I have attained Level 13 on The Registry, a level 3 Trainer. I am currently enrolled at UW Whitewater where I am working on completing an Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts degree and will graduate in December 2021.

I am also quite involved in the Early Childhood profession. I have held many roles and helped found our local networking group, C.H.I.L.D. Caregivers Helping Influence Learning and Development. I have been on the board of directors for WI Family Child Care Association, and I am on the Registry Board, currently the President. I have been on the Super Saturday conference committee for Fox Valley Chapter of WECA. I am a member of NAEYC, WECA, WFCCA, NAFCC, FVCW.

I was a recipient in 2018 for the Governor’s Trailblazer Award for Women in Business. In 2019, I was one of 50 recipients for the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's TYLENOL®, Children’s ZYRTEC® National Child Care Teacher Award, and one of the top ten for the honor of being teacher of the year. In 2020 I was asked to be an Exchange Leader through The Exchange Leadership Initiative.

While I take pride in my professional and educational achievements, the biggest rewards I will ever receive in this career are the accolades from the parents and seeing my students’ successes. Many have gone on to college, have learned skilled trades, and entered professional careers. However, it is not their position in life that is important, it is that my students develop into well rounded individuals, parents, and citizens. As I reflect on the past 33+ years, I cannot imagine a more rewarding career than to play a part in the development of our next generation.

I strongly feel that children need to do things on their own with minimal guidance; therefore, my program is child led and play based, this is how they develop their imaginations and learn the skills needed to navigate daily life. It is amazing to see how children can be self- determined, self-regulated and self-reliant.