Leigh Ann Janicki has long known that for her, guiding and caring for young children is more than a profession, but a calling. Leigh Ann was among the first early childhood caregivers to be accepted into the ECEPDO at PASSHE. A stay-at-home mother of two pre-teen, homeschooled daughters for many years, Leigh Ann re-entered the workforce about a year ago and has rapidly advanced herself – both academically and professionally.
Enrolled in the PDO in January 2020, Leigh Ann just celebrated her first year at Bullfrogs & Butterflies Childcare Center in New Brighton, PA. She understands the challenges associated with balancing home, work, and school. However, she knows the balance is possible, particularly with the tuition, technology, and other supports provided by the PDO.
Having completed her CDA coursework and portfolio at Shippensburg University, Leigh Ann will assume the director’s position at the center in April 2021 and will advance her Director Credential at Keystone College, a PDO partner school.
Recognizing the adjustments associated with online learning, Leigh Ann focuses on how both the PDO and virtual, asynchronous courses have made it easier for her to advance her education without compromising human interaction with instructors and fellow students. She says participation in Zoom sessions enriches the experience and enables friendships to form among students, adding that professors use a variety of interactive, engaging resources.
Leigh Ann’s credit-bearing, PDO-sponsored courses will articulate toward her eventual bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She believes the CDA credential is a great place to start for many first-time or returning student-workers.