The early years of childhood are often some of the happiest and most important times in a child’s life. How they explore the world helps them to learn and develop in ways that prepare them for the rest of this journey called life. Kim Jones Childers feels fortunate that she gets to be a part of this process first- hand, every day, helping her beloved “tiny humans” grow and thrive.
Childers is a preschool director and teacher for Kids 1st Preschool at United Methodist Church in Hobart.
“I’ve been a part of Kids 1st for the past 12 years, although I’ll have been involved in childcare for 20 years come fall,” Childers said.
Prior to Kids 1st, Childers worked with kids through Head Start in East Chicago, and Prodigy Prep Academy. She says she knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue childcare as a long-term career.
“I’ve always just had a good relationship with kiddos,” Childers said. “I babysat when I was younger, and later after volunteering at a daycare in college I just knew that the preschool level was my calling.”
Childers received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and an associate’s degree in early childhood learning from Manchester University. She went on to have a successful career working with her ‘tiny humans’, as she affectionately calls them, and has loved it since day one.
“These kids are just so much fun and full of curiosity,” Childers said. “Seeing that lightbulb go on in their head when you teach them something new, that moment has been amazing since my very first day.”
Being surrounded by inquisitive young minds every day, Childers says that there is never a dull moment.
“It’s just as much fun for me as it was back 20 years ago,” she said. “It’s always busy around here so you really have to be on your toes. You never know what to expect from them day to day, but we always want to keep it light and silly for the kiddos!”
Though she has taught hundreds of kids over the years, Childers sees each one of them as family. The connections she has made, and continues to make with each passing year, are priceless to her. It’s clear that the families she works with feel this way as well, as many of them continue to come back and support Childers at the events held at Kids 1st.
“The bonds that you create with them and their families are just awesome,” she said. “I like to say that they come in as our friends always, but we leave as family. Our goal is to show love to everyone here, and let them know that we really care.”
As an educator at the preschool level, Childers paves the way for future success, helping kids build a foundation that will ultimately prepare their young minds and personalities for the rest of their lives.
“I hope that I personally have impacted the lives of the kids that have come through,” Childers said. “I hope I’ve helped to start their education path in the right way, to help them build on in their future endeavors.”