Growing children: Balch Springs childcare provider spotlighted by organization

The National CACFP Sponsors Association recently spotlighted Balch Springs childcare provider Charisma Grygorczuk for her outstanding work as a child care professional. The National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) is the national organization for sponsors who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It provides education and support to thousands of members in the CACFP community and in particular to sponsors of all sizes from across the country. CACFP strives to improve communication between families, caregivers, sponsors, and their supervising government agencies.

When did you start your own child care business and what is it called?

I'm a mother of four kids. When my daughter had a child I started watching her when her mother was at work. Soon after that, I started watching friends’ children and I opened my in-home child care Play Time Academy in 2012. Currently, I run a licensed child care home where my assistants and I watch 12 kids from age 18 months to 5 years old.

What’s your education/training background?

I have my child care director credentials and I take yearly continuing education hours in child development and business management.  

What were you doing before you opened up your own child care?

I was a small business owner of a promotional company. 

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Watching children learn and develop, helping them to develop lifelong skills and a joy of learning. 

What are some of the challenges that come with running the business?

The long hours and little time off are the most challenging. 

Working with young children, what do you feel are essential skills to learn as soon as possible?             

What to expect at each developmental stage so you can plan your program to be developmentally appropriate for the ages of children in your care. 

How has CACFP helped you and your business?

Guidance for healthy meal options, continuing education classes, assistance with applying for grants, and education about new topics in the field.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?

When I completed my director's credentials and received the largest license you can achieve for in-home providers. 

What moment in your career has made you the most proud?

Watching and seeing the kids grow and develop; knowing that when they leave my care I have provided them with the foundation that they need for success in kindergarten and beyond. Early Childhood is the most critical time for children, and I'm so proud that I get to be part of it. 

What’s something not many people know about you?

Many people don’t understand the amount of behind-the-scenes activities I have to do. The amount of paperwork, continuing education classes I have to take yearly, and the extent that the state is involved in regulating how I perform my job.

Outside of working with children, what else do you enjoy doing? 

I love to spend time with my family, especially my granddaughter. 

Is there anything you haven’t done in life that you would like to do? If so, what is it?

I would like to travel more; I have always wanted to go to Las Vegas. 

I'm always trying to find new ways to make my program better. I'm currently applying for the Rising Star Program with the Child Care Group. This is something that I'm very excited about and will help to improve the quality of care that I provide. 

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