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Early childhood education training: Champions For Children

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Tyler (KYTX) -- If you're thinking about a career in early childhood education,  you may want to know more about the only non-profit in our area focused on just that.

Susan Soward worked in public education for 9 years before she decided to make a change.

"My goal is to help children become ready for kindergarten," Soward, now Director at the Growing Stick Learning Center, said.

She learned about Champions For Children-- a resource in Tyler for not only families, but future childcare providers.

"We are required to have many hours of training through the state of Texas through our minimum standards," Soward said.

There are a wealth of programs to choose from including pre-services classes required by the state for anyone working in a childcare facility-- to CPR training and best classroom practices.

Soward, now a director at the Growing Stick Learning Center, says she'd recommend Champions for anyone following her same path. 

"They are truly an inspiration to help the childcare profession, to help parents, to help children," Soward said.

The staff on board, also proud of the resource. "We are the only program in the East Texas area that does this type of training, specifically for childcare centers and early childhood providers," Debbie Lauman, Childcare Development Specialist at Champions For Children, said.

Lauman stresses how important it is children not fall behind before kindergarten.

"It's the foundation for all other learning. Those early childhood experiences," Lauman said.

More than 2600 adults took advantage of the programs at Champions For Children last year. The staff tells me they try to keep the programs about $5 an hour.

"That way we can offer low-cost training to these early childhood providers," Lauman said.

An affordable option for quality that yields a big payoff.

The non-profit is under new leadership. You can learn more about the training opportunities here.

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