At Lil' Britches Child Care in Kenai, a veteran in the world of child development can be found. With more than 26 years of experience in the field, Linda Campanella knows what it takes to care for children, and she was recently honored by state legislators for offering kids her best.
"I didn't see it coming and I don't even know who nominated me, but it is very exciting," she said.
Campanella, was one of seven child care providers honored at the first-ever "Alaska Child Care Provider Awards Celebration," held in Anchorage on July 15. The providers were recognized by state legislators for their dedication to children and commitment to providing quality child care, and have each been featured as Child Care Providers of the Week, on the PBS series "A Place of Our Own" and "Los Nios en Su Casa."
Campanella holds a bachelors degree in Early Education, a Child Development credential and also works with the Kenai Early Education Foundation offering parenting classes and child care courses, but as to her primary work with children, Campanella started Lil' Britches roughly nine years ago.
She has a license to work with 12 children at the home-based child care facility off VIP Drive in Kenai, and has two full-time staff members in addition to herself to tend to the kids.
"Lil' Britches is a home away from home and I love it. We find this very fulfilling and that is why we do it," she said.
Campanella said she offers preschool courses, Spanish and sign language to children, and the lesson format is structured to provide as much one-on-one time as possible with the kids. She utilizes her love for music and the use of homemade instruments, to incorporate singing and dancing throughout the day. She also focuses on teaching problem-solving skills, the importance of good nutrition, and providing a safe and healthy environment for all.
"We're hoping to open a Lil' Britches II very soon," she said.
In addition to Campanella, Luz Angelica Schuitt, Jane Krise, Donna Kirby and Julie Allen Hendrix, all of Anchorage, and Krista Bertholl of Juneau and Gina Palmer of Ketchikan, were also honored at the awards celebration.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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