Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County client services director wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: I manage our Early Care and Education Department subsidy services providing access to child care for over 2,300 children monthly. I oversee staff training and supervision, system maintenance and development, implementation, planning, and evaluation of programs. Ensuring delivery of high quality family and provider case management for Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs) Alternative Payment Programs and Center Programs.
How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty Under 40 professional?
I am passionate about my job and lead by example. I am committed to helping my community and making a positive impact for the future.
Years with company: 20
Length of time in current position: 10 years
Number of companywide employees: 150
Number who report to you: 23
Greatest professional accomplishment: My greatest professional accomplishment is each time a family I have worked with reaches financial stability and no longer needs child care assistance. In my daily work I get to help my amazing team provide opportunities for parents to take their children to a safe and educational child care program as the family works toward their future success.
When the family no longer needs services, I know that we have made a difference in the life of the family and children for years to come.
Greatest professional challenge: My greatest professional challenge is the knowledge that more families and children need support than can be served. During times of crisis, child care services are only one small piece of the puzzle the family must juggle and telling a family in need that I cannot help is hard.
I try to find creative and individual ways to work with every client in order to meet the strict state regulations or connect to other services to help each family's needs. Currently in COVID times, this need has been highlighted all the more.
Best advice received: Treat people with love, compassion and care. At the end of the day, that is what matters most.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: My most important event in the last 12 months has been leading my team during COVID.
Learning how to adapt and pivot operations continually with unprecedented circumstances including managing remote and hybrid work teams, contactless client operations, regulation changes, and the creation of a completely new child care program for essential workers.
I also worked with my team to transition some staff supervision which has provided each individual more personalized support, strengthens our team as a whole, and gives new opportunities for leadership development.
What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?
The biggest challenge within COVID-19 has been finding ways to stay connected with people. With clients we had to develop new ways to do business and develop relationships when not in person. With my team and staff we found new ways to work together while primarily being at different locations.
Continuing to build team relationships was so important, even with onboarding new staff, so we could be a highly effective team. In my personal life, especially the longer we are in COVID, finding ways to have meaningful connection with others has at times been a challenge.
And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?
The biggest lesson I have taken from this experience is that no matter how hard it may be to stay connected with people, it is all the more important.
That connection helps combat some of the added challenges, barriers, stress and fatigue because you care about the person. The work my team has accomplished this year would not be possible alone and working together we were able to do great things.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
4Cs has a very supportive environment that cares for each individual and the contributions they bring to their work. We offer professional development pathways, encourage people to grow their careers, and pursue areas they are passionate about.
With COVID, since we are seeing everyone much less, we have started a weekly awesome update email. Anyone can submit a thank you or recognition that are compiled and sent out to our whole agency to recognize and celebrate those accomplishments.
Next professional goal: My next professional goal is to find a way to implement some of our current practices and flexibilities developed during COVID into our business practices long term.
This will allow us to keep utilizing what is working, continue to be more supportive meeting the needs of families and improve our effectiveness overall.