Putting her Skills to Use – In her Living Room
Our living room is usually a place where the family gathers to watch TV, maybe play a board game if the vibe is right, but for Arketa, her living room is where four children come every day for circle time, singing nursery rhymes and painting and crafts.
Arketa has run an in-home daycare for the last five years, and has been working with children for the better part of her adult life. So, it surprised her to learn that experience wasn’t enough to fulfill her aspiration of running a daycare center.
“I started looking around at jobs and I noticed they were saying you needed at least an associate degree to be a director of a center, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to go back to school,” she said. “But I already had credits at DCC, so I went and talked to the staff there, and found out that I would just need one year of early childhood classes to get a degree in the field.”
So Arketa enrolled in the early childhood program at Danville. She’s had lots of hands-on practice which have immediately helped her in her own daycare.
“The program has really broadened my mind to different curriculum ideas for my kids,” she said. “Ms. Daniels taught me how to introduce science to toddlers and infants. They’re not going to understand it on the same level as an older kid – but you can explain science to an infant by showing them flowers and having them feel texture.”
Arketa overcame her hesitations and went after her goals. She will graduate with her associate degree in Early Childhood Education later this summer, and she hopes to go on to a four-year university to get her teaching license.
“Other people like me should just go for it, take out the fear and don’t wait forever,” she said. “Everything I have ever wanted to do has involved children – I liked the idea of being a nurse, but a pediatric nurse. Life took its course, but I think I’m on the right path. I was meant to be in early childhood education.”