Inspiring Child Care Providers to Reach for the Stars
July 10, 2018
Traci Poellnitz’s day is spent bouncing back and forth between the two classrooms filled with children of various ages. As the owner/director of Cozy Care Nursery School and Childcare, she wears many hats including teacher, cook, human resource and business manager, counselor, mediator and janitor—and she does it with a smile, giving hugs and guidance as needed.
She would have it no other way. Traci has dedicated her life to child care for more than 24 years but admits that the long days need to start with coffee “or else my day is just not right!”
She and her staff offer child care from her home, seven days a week and oftentimes 24 hours a day, depending on the needs of the families she serves.
“We try to adjust our hours to match the work schedules of the parents who need care,” she says. “And sometimes that means providing care for second- and third-shift work schedules.”
Traci, who received early childhood coaching from 4C, holds the distinction of being the only in-home child care provider licensed to care for seven to 12 children in Hamilton County to earn four stars in Ohio’s quality rating system. “4C has been and continues to be a tremendous resource to me,” Traci says. “My coach and the continuing education classes they offer ensure I’m being the best administrator and provider I can be.”
Her success is based on the quality care she provides and the relationships she nurtures with families and children. For many low-income families, working and keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads takes all their energy. “I’m here to give them support by ensuring their kids are safe and learning,” she says.
Traci compares the quality, well-rounded education that the children in her care receive with a private school education—and they also get the social/emotional development they need to be the best version of themselves. To see children thrive and transition successfully to kindergarten is her definition of success.
“I firmly believe that just because kids come from a low-income family doesn’t mean they need to be in a low-income child care environment,” Traci says. “No matter a child’s circumstances in life, they—and their families—deserve the opportunity to be the best they can be. That’s my mission here on earth to help them do just that!”