Our Staff

 

Our teachers are dedicated to making sure your child is safe and well cared for while they are in our care, but that is just the beginning. Our goal for each child is to teach them to love to learn. This is a key component in any child's success as they begin their academic career. We do this by using many different techniques starting in infancy. We teach through games, songs, finger plays and many different activities. We also use the world around them and their own interests to spur their curiosity and encourage them to ask questions. We also use art opportunities to encourage each child to use their own limitless imagination and individuality.

 

Our full time teachers take upwards of 30 hours of training every year as well as having a wealth of experience in working with young children and infants. We are a state licensed facility. However, the state minimum requirements for child care do not do much to encourage truly high quality child care or education for children in child care. With that in mind, we also participate in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS), and are proud to be a 4 Star QRS rated child care center.  The guidelines for QRS are much more stringent and there are more resources made available for us to attain those key components to high quality child care. We are proud to work with the QRS program and know you can see the constant strive towards excellence which comes from working with them.

 

Employees are required to submit to a background and criminal records check. Once they have been hired our employees are required to obtain CPR, First Aid, Blood Bourne Pathogens, and Mandatory Reporter of Child Abuse training within their first 6 months of employment. Teachers are also required to obtain at least 20 hours of Child Development related training each year.
 
Our teachers plan lessons according to the needs of the classroom. They base their lessons on the Creative Curriculum Standards which is a research based curriculum. 
 
Lead Teachers assess each child's progress several times while they are in their classroom and will collect samples of your child's work and place them in a portfolio. This portfolio will include items such as observation records, samples of creative art work, photos of your child participating in learning activities, and other useful tools for assessing your child.  These are shared with parents twice each year in November and April. When your child moves to the next classroom the portfolio will move with them so that the assessments can continue and your child’s progress can be seen over the time that they are enrolled in our program. Once your child “graduates” from our Preschool Program his/her portfolio will be sent home along with his Preschool Diploma. (Due to the volume of work that is produced in each classroom, you may receive a portfolio after the child completes the 3 year old room and then again upon graduation.)
 
You may request a conference with your child’s teacher or the Director at anytime to discuss any concerns or issues you may have with your child’s progress, behavior, or the things that are happening in the classroom.

 

Miss Lori

Teacher

0-6 months

Wee Ones

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My name is Miss Lori and I work in the Wee Ones room and I have been here at Altoona 8th Street Child Care for over 19 years, and worked with children for over 28 yrs. I have worked with infants for over 18 yrs. Some training I've had include Creative Curriculum, PITC training, and SIDS training, just to name a few.

 

I have been married since 1977 and have 2 grown children and 2 beautiful granddaughters.  I have lived in the Des Moines area my entire life, and in just the last couple of years have now moved into Altoona.

Miss Camie

Teacher

0-6 months

Wee Ones

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Hello my name is Camie! I currently live in Pleasantville with my two Doberman puppies, Keani and Koda, but I am originally from Indianola. I have 1 year of experience working in a childcare facility, but have been babysitting my nieces and nephews since I was 14 years old. I enjoy working with kids, getting to know each and every one of them, and being a part of helping them learn. And I’m so happy to be a part of the 8 th street family!

Miss Camie

Teacher

6-12 months

Dream Team

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Hello my name is Camie! I currently live in Pleasantville with my two Doberman puppies, Keani and Koda, but I am originally from Indianola. I have 1 year of experience working in a childcare facility, but have been babysitting my nieces and nephews since I was 14 years old. I enjoy working with kids, getting to know each and every one of them, and being a part of helping them learn. And I’m so happy to be a part of the 8 th street family!

Miss Sarah

Teacher

6-12 month

Dream Team 

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Hello, my name is Miss. Sarah (Feldman). I am the new teacher in the Dream Team Classroom. Although I am new to Altoona 8 th Street Child Care, I am notnew to the childcare profession. I have been working in the Early Childhood Education field for over 6 years. I have previously been a lead teacher, co-teacher, and teaching assistant in others centers. I have received my Child
Development associates Degree (CDA) in May of 2018 from Des Moines Area Community College. I also have almost completed my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and hope to be finished with that degree sometime in 2022. My husband and I just moved to Altoona with our two dogs, two leopard geckos, two bearded dragons and an assortment of fish. Teaching is my
passion; it is all I have wanted to do since I fell into the profession in 2016. My teaching style leans towards learning through play, I think when learning is fun a child is going to learn more and retain more information. I also love books and singing so if your kids come home humming a tune it is probably my fault. I cannot wait to get to know all the children and families. I look forward to watching everyone learn, grow, and change.

Miss CaSondra

Float Teacher

0-6 month

Wee Ones &

6-12 month

Dream Team 

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I’m CaSondra Wilson, I previously worker for Anderson Storm Door division for 31/2 years. I from Des Moines Iowa and I have a 3 year old son named Elijah. I am very caring, outstanding hard worker and thoughtful easy going person.

Miss Alexis

Teacher

Toddlers

Zoo Crew

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Hi my name is Alexis and currently new to childcare and have lived I Iowa my whole life. I am a blended family with 9 siblings, the oldest is 25 and the youngest is 9, and I love to care for all of my sibling and took care of them for many years. I am not married but will soon be and I and my fiancé have 2 dogs that are Chihuahua, and dachshund mix and they are mother and daughter.

Miss Kaylene

Teacher

Toddlers

Zoo Crew

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My name is Kaylene. I have worked in childcare for 13 years. I love teaching children and watching them learn and grow every day. I love reading. Teaching is my passion. I’m married
to my wonderful husband, Chad. We have two adorable dogs.

Miss Tanya

Teacher - 2's

Bumble Bees 

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Hi my name is Tanya, I’ve lived in Altoona most of my life. I have 6 kids, youngest is 14, oldest is 29(3 girls, 3 Boys). I’m married 9 yrs. now, we are a blended but blessed family. I’ve been in child care for about 25 yrs. also babysat kids starting when I was 11 yrs. old. I worked here previously & was here for 5 yrs. became a CNA for a bit, then worked at Ankeny Christian Child Care for 7 yrs. and now I’m back. I have 1dog, 3 cats, continental giant bunny, 2 new zeland-flemish giant mixed bunnies and one of my sons have a gecko. I love animals, spending time w/family, and hiking, anything outside, camping and last but not least I’m a Christian and love God! W/out him I would have nothing.

Miss Megan

Teacher - 2's

Bumble Bees

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Hi my name is Megan and I have been taking care of children most of my life. Starting with my grandma’s in home day care as a teenager and most recently at a day care in Ankeny working with infants for the past 5 yrs. I have 2 boys, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. I enjoy fun adventures in nature, art and taking long walks with my dogs. I look forward to getting to know all the children and their families!

Miss Brittany

Floater Teacher - Toddlers Zoo Crew & 2's Bumble Bees

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Hi my name is Brittany, I love reading, crafts and light hearted fun, I am an overall nerd. I love
playing with children vs. just watching them.

Miss Brooke

Teacher - older 2's & younger 3's

Honey Bees

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Hello! My name is Brooke, and I recently just graduated from Colfax-Mingo high school. I graduated in 2020, and decided to hold off on college until I decide what I want to do. I love spending time outdoors, with my friends and family. I have a husky who takes up most of my time. She is my whole world. I am glad to be part of this great environment and call Altoona 8th Street Child Care my workplace.

Miss Alayna

Teacher - older 2's & younger 3's

Honey Bees

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Hi my name is Miss Alayna. I have a 1 year old little boy named Hudson and an amazing boyfriend named Jesse. I have been a teacher for day-care for about 4 years now. I love hiking and dogs. We love being outside as much as possible. I am super excited to meet you and your kids, I love being a teacher!

Miss Megan

Teacher

older 3'S

Wiz Kids

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Bio Soon

 

Miss MacKenzie

Teacher

older 3'S

Wiz Kids

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My name is Mackenzie and I am 28 years old. I’ve worked as a CNA for 3 years. I am a young mom of 5 kids, so I feel I have quite a bit of personal experience with children. I’ve always enjoyed helping others as well as teaching others new things. I am excited to be a part of the children’s learning experience, and getting to spend every day with them as they grow. I am happy to be a part of the Altoona Childcare Family!!

Miss Virginia

Float Teacher

Honey Bees &

Wiz Kids

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Hi I am Virginia Smith, I have worked in child care for over a year and recently moved to Altoona from Chariton Iowa. I have a huge family with lots of brothers and sisters. I have always enjoyed working with kids. I babysat most of my life so there hasn’t been a time I’m not around kids. I am very loving and caring and always try to do my best.

Miss Margaret

Teacher

Pre-K

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My name is Miss Margaret and I have been working at Altoona 8th Street Child Care since October 2013. I have actually worked in child care for over 28 years and have a one year degree in Early Childhood Education. I have a passion for working with the younger children. I live in Luther with my husband and 3 children.

Miss Jamie

Teacher

Pre-K

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My name is Jamie Cirksena. I live in Indianola, Ia. I have 3 children, Kaden is my 13 yr. Old and loves to play games and skateboard. Jadelynn is 13 yrs. old and is a girly girl. Then I have Maxton who is 9 yrs. old and is my baby. I enjoy doing crafts activities or hands on material. I enjoy teaching kids and watching them grow. I hope to continue my early childhood education through Altoona 8th Street Child Care and excited to grow here.

Miss Gina

School Age and Breaks

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My name is Miss. Gina. I have been at this center since 2016 and prior to that I worked here from 2009-2013. I live in Des Moines with my husband Heriberto and our 5 sons. We also have two dogs named Bonita and Simba. I have been in childcare for 15 years and look forward to helping you and your children learn and grow. I have worked with all ages from newborn to school age and love all ages I have worked with. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know!

Miss Taylor

School Age &

Float Teacher 

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My name is Taylor Lewis, I am a 2020 Graduate of Colfax Mingo Jr/Sr High I am just now beginning my career in the Child Care field. Growing up I did a lot of different babysitting jobs, which gave me the passion to want to work with children. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. In the future I would like to expand my education into early child development or child psychology.

Mr Devon

Float Teacher 

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Hi my name is Devon and I am 16, I play multiple sports for Southeast Polk and I am very active outside of those sports. I love hanging out with all the children and all their energy.

Miss Sam

Float Teacher 

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Hi! My name is Sam. I currently live in Altoona and am finishing High School. I have 2 older brothers, 2 cats Max & Leo, and I’m involved in competition dance at my dance studio. Most recently I was a nanny for a family with 2 kids, one of them with special needs. I have always wanted a career working with children, but that experience has sparked a passion to work with special needs children in some way. I love getting to know each child’s different personalities and I’m excited to be a part of the 8th street family!

Miss Deb

Kitchen Mgr. School Age and Breaks

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My name is Ms. Debra. I’ve been recently employed to work at Altoona 8th Street Child Care Center. For many years I worked at many food establishments. I enjoy working with my hands and preparing meals for others. I am down to earth in my way of thinking and may ask questions with peoples likes and dislikes regarding meal preparations. I also like meeting people and
getting to know them.