Headshot of Leah Zastoupil

Leah Zastoupil

Owner of Zasty's Family Child Care in Milton

President of Wisconsin Family Child Care Association

I have worked in early childhood education since 1989 and have owned a licensed family child care center since 2005. My program has over 1000 square feet of dedicated child care space, designed with neutral colors throughout. My outdoor play space is a Certified Nature Explore Classroom that provides a dynamic nature-based play area for my children. We spend a lot of time doing nature activities outdoors as I find that the kids are more intense in their learning when they are interested and nature opportunities often provide that stimulation for them.

I am very passionate about teachable moments. I feel that the kids also learn best when I am "present" with them doing hands on activities. I actually learn new things as I prepare lesson plans and we explore units together. Open communication and honesty are the key to success in cultivating positive working relationships with my daycare families. Together, we will successfully raise a whole child together.

In addition to my work with my children and families, I am the president of the Wisconsin Family Child Care Association (WFCCA). This is my fourth year as president. I hope that I have been able show the board members that we are all here to support each other and that the open communication and partnership between us is what will make our association successful. In my role, I spend a lot of time advocating for early childhood educators and have been involved in several meetings with legislative offices in Washington D.C. I have enhanced my advocacy confidence and learned a lot while volunteering with Save the Children Action Network the past few years.

I have recently seen a shift in the Early Childhood field where individual organizations have started to finally communicate and work together to be one voice. I have been on DCF licensing calls where they have been asking for WFCCA's input and letting us be a part of important decisions, as well as WECA advocacy connections, and emails that have included administrative leaders, after school groups, and several others. I would love for this collaboration to continue in Wisconsin!