Meet the Teachers

childhood education

The management team at Early Steps Learning Center employs staff members that share our passion for children.  Believing that the safety, security and well-being of our children is our greatest responsibility, each staff member is completely and thoroughly trained to maintain this environment.

Infant Teachers

Miss Gail

Position: Lead Teacher, Infant Program

Education: CDA Infant & Toddler Certification and some college

Experience with children: 26 years as a professional and 40 years as a mother!

Favorite activities: Peek-a-boo and talking to infants

Favorite children’s book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle

What do you love most about working with children? What I love most is watching children learn and master a milestone in their developmental growth!

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Miss Monique

Position: Lead Teacher, Infant Program

Education: Working on Degree in Early Childhood Development

Experience with Children: 10 years working in a school with school-agers and 30 years as a mother of 4 children

Favorite activities: Playing learning games with children

Favorite children’s book: The Story Bible

What do you love most about working with children?  I love to watch the growth of learning in children when they reach a goal they thought was impossible because of fear.  I always tell them you never know what you can do until you try.

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Toddler Teachers

Miss Leslie

Position: Lead Teacher, Toddler Program

Education: Jane Addams Business Career Center

Experience with children: 12 years as a professional

Favorite activities: finger painting, making art, and water play

Favorite children’s books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault;  Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff; Loudest Roar by Thomas Taylor

What do you love most about working with children? Watching them grow and develop their own personalities and helping with their development.

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Preschool Teachers

Miss Anita

Position: Lead Teacher, Preschool Program and Admin Assistant

Education:  Associate of Arts – Child Development

Experience with children: 4 years

Favorite activities: Singing songs, music.

Favorite children’s booksThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

What do you love most about working with children? What I love the most is watching the children in my classroom grow and learn each and everyday.

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Miss Francine

Position:  Co-Lead Teacher, Preschool Program

Education:  Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Pre-K to 3.  Currently working on her Master’s Degree, as she is working to become a Mild Manner Intervention Specialist in Education.

Experience with children:  25 years of experience working with children from ages 6 week to 10 years old.  The majority of her experience has been with children under the age of 2 years.

Favorite activities:  To model all activities for learning, sensory, art, math and literature.

Favorite children’s book:  I enjoy reading and all books that I read are my favorites.

What do you love most about working with children? Keeping them interested and motivated to learning.

preschool education

Miss Lisa

Position: Co-Lead Teacher, Preschool Program

Education: CDA Preschool.  Currently attending college for Associate of Arts –  Early Childhood Education

Experience with children: 8 years professionally and 26 years as a mother

Favorite activities: Anything to do with science and literacy

Favorite children’s book: Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff and Curious George by H.A. Ray

What do you love most about working with children?  I love seeing the excitement in their eyes when they have learned a new task and looking into their eyes when they hang onto your every word while reading

part-time care for children

PreKindergarten Teachers

Miss Jessica

Position: Lead Teacher, Kindergarten Enrichment Program

Education: Associates Degree, Early Childhood Education.  Currently working on Bachelors degree.

Experience with children: 2 year working in daycare, 6 years working at Children’s Museum, 10 years babysitting children

Favorite activities: I love to create.  I crochet, knit, sew, paint, scrapbook and make greeting cards.

Favorite children’s book: Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

What do you love most about working with children?  I love when children learn or grow a new skill.  The look of pride in their eyes is something that motivates me to work harder.

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Miss Catherine

Position: Assistant Coordinator

Education: BS in Human Ecology with Early Childhood Education.  Specialization from The Ohio State University.

Experience with Children:  I have 9 years of professional experience, and 8 years as a mother.

What do you love most about working with children?  My favorite classroom activity is to read books with the children.  Books are wonderful teaching tools that educate children in all areas of development.

Favorite children’s book: A few of my favorite authors are Dr Seuss, Eric Carle, Jan Brett, and Mo Williems.

What do you love most about working with children?  What I love most about working with children is seeing the change and growth in education and development in each child. Witnessing this transformation in children is, to me, the most rewarding part of education children.

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Ms. Deattrya Jenkins

Position: Assistant Director

Education: Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education

Experience with children: 8 years as a professional and 14 years as a mother

Favorite activities: Music/movement activities, art activities-finger painting, hand painting, and some science activities

Favorite children book: Five Little Monkeys

What do you love most about working with children?  What I love most about working with children is watching them master their difficult challenges and witnessing the excitement they experience when they achieve it.

curriculum-based programs

Ms. Lauren Gaffney

Position: Director of Richmond Road

Education: Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Montessori Training (certified)

Experience with children: 16 years

Favorite activities: Activities that help school age children become ‘positive’  – in attitude, towards others, toward the world and about themselves.  Also doing silly activities and games like guessing games, telephone and ‘Mother May I’.

Favorite children’s book: Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel and Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak

What do you love most about working with children? I love the moment that a child learns something new; when the light comes on.

childhood education

Ms. Angela Barringer

Position: Executive Director

Education: Master of Science in Clinical Child Psychology

Experience: 16 years in Early Childhood Education, 11 years in Development and Counseling Psychology, 14 years child care center director

Why I started Early Steps Learning Center: After working with children and families for 8 years in a clinical arena, I felt compelled to create a child care center that did so much more than just provide day care services.  I wanted to use my experiences, talent, and passion to provide children and families with the best emotional, intellectual and physical development possible.   I created a business plan centered around the following aspirations:

  • create a safe place where children could feel at home
  • surround children with qualified adults who nurture their self-worth
  • employ a teaching staff that support the intellectual development of our children
  • support caregivers with educational and parenting resources
  • link families to valuable community services

My passion for education: Early Steps Learning Center was designed to offer so more than just a babysitting service.  My Teaching Team and I strive to ensure that every child receives a quality education which fosters the skills necessary for future success. And because of the wonderful values, vision and expectations our Teaching Team brings to our Center, our children are ready to soar by the age of 5. Look out kindergarten; here they come!

What I am most proud of: At the heart of our organization is our people. I am most proud of the enthusiasm and dedication my Team gives to our children and families each day.  Our motto is, “Where Every Day is a Fun Day”.  While they are serious about teaching the fundamentals of early childhood education, we are equally determined to have fun each day!

Summer Camp

Ms. Sharon Jackson

Position: Business Manager/ CFO

Education: Bachelors of Finance

Experience: Over 10 years in Commercial Banking and Finance with National City Bank (now Huntington Bank), 14 years child care center management, mom of two daughters.

Why I started Early Steps Learning Center: My ministry is to share the love of Christ every day by caring for the needs of children and families. I had a vision of providing early childhood services in a warm and nurturing environment with the goal of developing a solid educational foundation that will last a lifetime.  Focusing on all areas of development of children, our team offers children the opportunity to learn and grow in skills necessary to become successful and productive individuals right from the start.  ESLC embraces the philosophy ” it takes a village to raise a child” and we are proud to be members of our communities “village”.

What are you most proud of?: I am proud that ESLC provides daily care and education to over 300 children from the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years old. ESLC has shown continual growth in enrollment and currently has 3 locations in Richmond Heights and Wickliffe, Ohio.  ESLC takes pride in many accomplishments and recognition in the industry, including being recognized and awarded star ratings for quality programming with the Ohio Step Up to Quality Program (SUTQ).

Professionally, I was honored to be recognized by the Cleveland YWCA of Greater Cleveland as one of the recipients of the 2015 Women of Professional Excellence Award.  As a mentor and minority business woman, I strives to demonstrate excellence in leadership and strong work ethics. I continue to implement the principles learned from Goldman Sach’s 10K business program including “working on the business and not in the business.”

Personally, I am proud of my family – my husband and 2 daughters.

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Staff Training

We believe that our staff is the single most important aspect of our care for your child.  We will only hire the most qualified teachers and care providers.

In order to provide the absolute best care for our children, we are committed to the continuous education of our staff.  Our teachers participate in training by offered through Ohio Department of Education and Step Up to Quality Representatives.

We have also developed our own training program to support the ongoing training development of our teachers.  Our Professional Development Plan focuses on training in areas of health and safety, curriculum, developmental guidelines and enrichment programs.