The Preschool Center employs an administrative and teaching staff selected for their qualifications, previous childcare experience, demonstrated love for working with children and an understanding of the great amount of dedication involved with a program such as ours.
The teacher-to-student ratio for the 2-to-3 year olds is one teacher for every six children (1:6); it is one teacher for every ten children (1:10) for the 3-to-5 year olds. Lead teachers are well qualified, holding either bachelors or associates degrees in early childhood education; assistant teachers hold associate degrees in early childhood education.
The Preschool Center partners with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for professional development training, with lead teachers receiving 20 hours each year of child development training. The Preschool Center is part of the CPS Community Partner Initiative.
With a full-time clinical social worker on staff, our program strengthens and supports families. Individual counseling is provided to children and their families when situations of trauma, behavior management or special needs develop.
Similarly, classroom staff receives additional support from the social worker when classroom observations indicate a need. Quarterly parent discussion groups provide parents with information, resources and parenting tools while social skills groups are provided to graduating students preparing for kindergarten.
Our Director holds her Type 04 certification as well as a Director qualification. You will see her as a team player in all areas of the program. The Director believes that all children and families have an opportunity to learn and grow together to provide the best learning and nurturing environment for the child.
Pamela Flowers-Thomas, Director
Hi, my name is Pamela Flowers-Thomas and I am the director of The Preschool Center at Chicago Child Care Society where we believe in developing the whole child.
I have been in the Early Childhood field for more than 25 years. I have an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in Growth and Development of Children with a minor in Child Life Specialist. I earned a Master’s degree from National-Louis University in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy. I completed my second Masters of Education from Roosevelt University, where I received a Type 04 Certification with an approval in Special Education from birth to 5. I hold a level 4 Infant and Toddler Credential, a level three Illinois Director Credential and a level 5 Early Childhood Credential from Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Professional Development System.
My work experiences include teacher, social service worker, director, and center director.
I enjoy investing in children and families lives. My philosophy is that all children can learn with proper guidance, love, support and a learning enriched environment. I am a strong advocate of parent involvement because the parent is the first teacher. I am committed to working with staff to provide the best learning environment for children and families. I believe that all children can learn in a safe, nurturing, learning enriched highly qualified educational program.
Sheila Smith, Rainbow Room Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Sheila Smith the lead teacher in the Rainbow room. I have been working with children 15 years or more. I received my AAS Degree in Child Development from Olive Harvey City College and my BS in Human Services with an area of study in Child Development Services from Thomas A. Edison state college. I love working with children and watching them grow.
Anna Mormolstein, Rainforest Room Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Anna Mormolstein. I am the lead teacher in the Rainforest classroom. I have my bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and my Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago. I’ve been working with children and their families for the past 5 years.I just completed my Type 04 teaching certification at UIC. I look forward to working with you and your child to help them grow, learn, and explore!
Heather White, Secret Garden Room Lead Teacher
My name is Heather White and I am the lead teacher in the Secret Garden classroom.Throughout the past few years, I have taught preschool, working with children two to five years of age. I completed a master’s degree in early childhood education with a special education approval from Roosevelt University, and hold an elementary education certification as well. Most recently, I obtained an English as a Second Language Endorsement. I strive to learn new materials and stay abreast of current best practices that benefit my children and families. Each year, I am delighted by the process of learning new things from my children, families, and colleagues. They truly strengthen my craft and passion for teaching.
Katie Caddell, Clinical Social Worker
My name is Katie Caddell and I am a licensed clinical social worker at The Preschool Center. I received my undergraduate degree in Social Work from Winona State University in Minnesota. I received two Masters’ degrees in Social Work and Child and Family Law from Loyola University in Chicago. I have worked for Chicago Child Care Society since July 2006.My job is very fulfilling! I get to interact with the parents and the children in group activities as well as one on one. Together with the staff we get a chance to provide quality care, information and numerous resources for all our families.
Emily Fannings, Butterfly Room Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Emily Fannings. I am happy to join the staff here at The Preschool Center at the Chicago Child Care Society. I received my early childhood education degree from Clark Atlanta University. I have been in the child care field for more than 20 years and I am passionate about early childhood education.
I believe that every child is a unique and gifted being. Children are sponges and have the ability to grasp anything. I am looking forward to working with the parents, children and staff here at the Chicago Child Care Society.