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Western Maryland child care professionals honored for contributions they make

May 21, 2008

FLINTSTONE, Md. - Child care professionals from Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties were honored May 9 at Rocky Gap Conference Center.

Provider Appreciation Day recognizes the region's child care providers for the contribution they make to the children, families and communities they serve.

Coordinated by APPLES for Children, there were refreshments, giveaways and individual awards for years of service. APPLES is Alliance for Parent, Provider and Local Employer Solutions.

Elizabeth Kelley, director of the Office of Child Care within the Maryland State Department of Education, was the keynote speaker.

All the participants shared refreshments, received a bouquet of flowers and participated in a scrapbooking activity to commemorate the day.

Many Washington County providers received special honors for participating in the child care accreditation process, going above and beyond licensing requirements to achieve a higher standard and acknowledgement through one of several national and state accrediting agencies.

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Brenda Keller and Lisa Noel, Washington County child care providers, were honored for completing the federal accreditation process.

Cathy Root, Melissa Ehle and Cherie Blickenstaff were acknowledged for recently starting the accreditation process.

Chuck Wainwright, center director at The Learning Center, Hagerstown; Erica Fleming, center director at Rehoboth Early Learning Center, Williamsport; and Ben Jakoby, site director, Head Start of Washington County, were cited for being mentors.

Mary Babbington of Washington County was cited for her 22 years in the child care field.

Others received awards for years of experience in the child care field.

They included Washington County providers Brenda Keller and Chuck Wainwright, 17 years each; Ben Jakoby, 16 years; Alice Johnson and Erica Fleming, 13 years each; Cherie Blickenstaff, 10 years; Cathy Root and Shannon Wilt, nine years each; Jenn Burger, eight years; Nicki Shifler, seven years; Melissa Ehle, five years; Jenny Drainwaithe, four years; Lisa Noel, three years; and Jordan Smith, Laura Hendrix and Harmony Wilson, one year each.

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