Early Intervention Specialist Opens Fitchburg’s Peachtree Playschool
Fitchburg, MA – After years of working in child care, Beth Goodwin has many stories about children’s incredible accomplishments in and out of the classroom. But she says it’s the small wins that mean the most.
“There is a child I work with who is pretty nonverbal,” says Beth, who works in the Early Intervention Division of Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health. “But, one day, a bus went by, and he said ‘bus’ completely out of the blue. Then he kept saying it, pointing at buses in books or toys. I was jumping up and down, saying ‘Yes! Yes! That’s a bus!’ I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but it was so exciting. It was a big step for him.”
Experiences like these have inspired Beth’s life-long passion for child care. In addition to her role with Massachusetts Early Intervention, Beth has over fourteen years of experience in child care centers. Beginning as an assistant, Beth worked in a variety of positions and with a range of ages, ultimately serving as a program director. Now, Beth says, she is ready to draw on her expertise in creating her own program, Peachtree Playschool, that will open in her Fitchburg home this fall.
“Although I love early intervention, I really miss being in the classroom and working with the same children every day,” says Beth. “When you run a child care program, you become an extension of the family circle. I know it’s heartbreaking to leave your child during the day—but through my program, I hope parents will see that their kids are not only well cared for, they are also learning and growing with the other children.”
Beth explains that Peachtree Playschool’s daily activities will be informed by her background in early intervention. “I really like the early intervention model,” explains Beth. “We will incorporate lots of play, but it will be purposeful play: setting certain goals for each child and working to meet those objectives. I think it’s important to really know what you’re targeting for the children.”
Beth says she’s seen the success of this model with her own sixteen-month-old son. “Right now, we are working on learning how to walk up stairs,” says Beth. “He’s finally figured out a way to do it on his own, and the look on his face—knowing he’s accomplished this goal he set for himself—is priceless. It’s so rewarding, both as a parent and as a teacher.”
In collaboration with NeighborSchools, Beth is working to secure her Family Child Care (FCC) license, issued by the Massachusetts’ Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). The FCC licensing process includes trainings on childhood development and safety; a thorough home inspection and three-part background check; and up-to-date pediatric CPR & First Aid certificates. To learn more about licensing requirements, visit the EEC’s website.
“I’m very confident in my skills and my background as an educator,” says Beth. “But knowing that NeighborSchools is on top of the licensing process allows me to focus on planning the program itself. That’s what I’m excited about—getting to know the kids, doing art-and-crafts, and getting dirty.”
“Most of all, I am looking forward to helping kids develop in whatever way works best for them,” Beth continues. “I know it can be very frustrating for families when a child doesn’t conform with societal conventions, but it’s usually just a matter of figuring out what makes them tick. There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. Kids are people—they are each unique.”
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NeighborSchools partners with experienced educators to launch world-class licensed Family Child Care programs. In supporting the creation of more small-scale child care programs, NeighborSchools helps increase access to high-quality programs. Children benefit from lower ratios, greater continuity of care, and a nurturing home environment. Parents can discover and build a relationship with a Provider located right in their neighborhood. Providers get to launch the program of their dreams and earn a living wage, while working hands-on with young children every day.