Employees are required to submit to a background and criminal records check. Once they have been hired our employees are required to obtain CPR, First Aid, Blood Bourne Pathogens, and Mandatory Reporter of Child Abuse training within their first 6 months of employment. Teachers are also required to obtain at least 10 hours of Child Development related training each year.
Our teachers plan lessons according to a monthly theme calendar that is determined by the Director. They base their lessons on the Iowa Early Learning Standards that have been set by the Iowa Department of Education. The early learning standards have 7 areas of development that incorporate several specific standards for infants, toddlers and preschool aged children.
Area 1-Physical Well-Being and Motor Development
Area 2-Approaches to Learning
Area 3-Social and Emotional Development
Area 4-Communication, Language, and Literacy
Area 5-Mathematics and Science
Area 6-Creative Arts
Area 7-Social Studies
The teachers are responsible for planning lessons to meet several benchmarks outlined in the standards in each of the 7 areas of development. They submit their lesson plans to the Director for review and suggestions and once approved they are ready for implementation.
Lead Teachers assess each child's progress several times while they are in their classroom and will collect samples of your child's work and place them in a portfolio. This portfolio will include items such as observation records, samples of creative art work, photos of your child participating in learning activities, and other useful tools for assessing your child. These are shared with parents twice each year in April and October. When your child moves to the next classroom the portfolio will move with them so that the assessments can continue and your child’s progress can be seen over the time that they are enrolled in our program. Once your child “graduates” from our Preschool Program his/her portfolio will be sent home along with his Preschool Diploma. (Due to the volume of work that is produced in each classroom, you may receive a portfolio after the child completes the 3 year old room and then again upon graduation.)
You may request a conference with your child’s teacher or the Director at anytime to discuss any concerns or issues you may have with your child’s progress, behavior, or the things that are happening in the classroom.
Our staff are trained in the Iowa Early Learning Standards in order to best prepare children to succeed in school. For more information see Iowa Early Learning Standards.
Tarah Widaman has worked in the Early Childhood Field for 16 years. Prior to working for Ankeny Christian Child Care Center and Preschool, Tarah has worked for Drake Head Start, Easter Seals, and Iowa Association for the education of Young Children.
Tarah has worked for Ankeny Christian Child Care for 8 years as a lead Preschool Teacher. Tarah now spends her time working between classrooms and in the office assisting Tami with administrative tasks.
Tarah is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her two sons. Tarah graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her degree in Elementary Education and is working on her endorsement in Early Childhood from Northwestern University.
Teresa Shelton's career with Ankeny Christian Child Care and Preschool began in 2006. Teresa has held many roles at Ankeny Christian Child Care in time she has been with the company. She is the lead teacher in the Older Infant/Toddler classroom. She has been an on-site supervisor and closer in the evenings. Teresa is now transitioning into the role of Assistant Director.
Teresa is a native of Ankeny and attended Des Moines Area Community College for her Child Development Associate certification. She is now working on her Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Southwestern Community College. Teresa and her husband Matt have two daughters who keep them busy attending princess parties and playing dress up.