Amanda Herrick Teacher at Community Care Preschool & Child Care I have been working in the child care field for 26 and a half years at Community Care Preschool & Child Care in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. I have always loved babysitting as a young child and knew that I wanted to care for young children in some compacity or another. I have a one-year diploma and an associate degree in early childhood education from Moraine Park Technical College. I enjoy mentoring Moraine Technical College students working on their associate degree when they are placed in our center for part of their schooling. I organize a weekly lesson plan that focuses on the developmental needs of each individual child. I observe children’s developmental milestones and document them in a portfolio. I plan activities that work on developing the children’s cognitive, social/emotional, language, and fine and gross motor development. I am a mentor and team leader for teachers in my center as we work on implementing the Early Learning Pyramid Model Standards into our center. Our Center is NAC accredited and a Five Star center. I am most proud of all the hard work the teachers in my center have worked on to become a NAC accredited center and the hard work we are putting into implement Early Learning Pyramid Model standards into our center. I am proud to be an early childhood educator who works on making the center I work for one of the best in the state of Wisconsin. We have the most important job regarding the education of children in the first three years of their life. The first three years is when they absorb the most crucial information to begin the building block of all future learning. We are early childhood educators and NOT babysitters. Looking forward, I want early education educators to receive the pay and benefits they deserve for the hard work they do. We deserve to earn a higher salary, dental, health, and eye insurance. We deserve to have a 401(k) for retirement. I would love to be acknowledged for the important work I do to educate children birth through five years of age.