Jessica Cree

Center Director, Tiny Learners ELC

Personal Background

Hello everyone! My name is Jess Cree. I am a single mom of an awesome 7 year old, my daughter Jaedyn. We live in Enola, PA just across the river from the state capital, Harrisburg. In addition to my full time job, I have worked for the past 9 years at Central Penn College as a live in housing professional, Sr. Resident Advisor. I oversee approximately 70 upperclassmen male students and actually live amongst them in a town home. There's never a dull moment here as I routinely deal with roommate conflicts/mediation, maintenance issues, and incident response. It's a very unique position as we do not employ student RA's, only adults that work full time jobs outside of the college.

Professional Background

In August of 1998, I started my Elementary Education Degree with an Early Childhood Option at Millersville University. I was at Millersville for 2.5 years, when I decided I needed to take time off to work full time and earn some extra money towards tuition. Well, that break turned into 12 years and one child. During my time away from MU, I worked for Kindercare for 2 years and then was hired by Capital Area Head Start as an Early Head Start teacher. I loved my time working for Early Head Start! I learned so much about the profession and myself. In September of 2007, after the birth of my daughter, I transitioned to a private childcare, UGRO Learning Centre, and taught in the 2.5-3yr old classroom for 5 years. When my daughter was ready for kindergarten, I made the scary decision to leave the workforce and return to Millersville as a full time student in order to complete the Bachelor's Degree that I had started many years earlier. I am proud to say I complete my BSE in Early CHildhood Education in May 2014 and hold PA Instructional I Certification for grades PreK-4. I had a difficult time finding a full time elementary teaching position in the Central PA area and so I interviewed for and accepted a position as a Childcare Center Director for a newly opened private childcare located 20 minutes from my home. I started in this position last Monday and it has been a very hectic week for me :) I am excited to pursue my Master's degree and increase my knowledge of Early Childhood education. This is my first semester at CalU and my first grad class. I expect to complete the program in May 2016.
Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!

Why Early Childhood Education?

My years of experience in the field of early childhood education have fostered an increased interest in not only pursuing further education for myself, but also encouraging those that are new to the field to pursue higher education. Our field is often undervalued and equated to "babysitting". I want to teach others about the importance of those first 5 years and the impact that early childhood professionals can have on the future. I have seen first hand the effects of quality early learning programs and want to share my enthusiasm for this noble profession with future generations.

I am really looking forward to working in my role as a center director and to inspiring my staff to pursue further education and to understand just how important their job is. I want to be an advocate for early childhood education and I want to take the center that I work at to the next level in order to be the best at what we do.

I don't have many concerns about being an early childhood professional as I have been in the field for more than 10 years.

My short term professional goals include completing my Master's degree and becoming comfortable in my new position. Long term goals include becoming a trainer for local early education facilities and providers and becoming more involved as an advocate for early education programs.