The Children’s Resource Center is a non-profit child care resource and referral agency that has been in operation since 1995. We are funded by Smart Start, the Division of Child Development and Early Education, and other private donations. Our agency works to assist, educate, and support parents, child care providers and our community about quality child care and assist with any other issues relating to children and families.
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The mission of The Children’s Resource Center is to ensure that all children and their families in Catawba County have access to quality, reliable child care and developmental opportunities.
- Collaboration toward cutting-edge educational opportunities for child care staff
- To provide support and technical assistance to area child care providers
- To educate parents and business leaders about accessing quality child care
- To inform the community and local businesses about children’s issues and child care needs
Director—Monica W. Thomas: Under the direction of Monica Thomas, The Children’s Resource Center strives to meet its goal of advocating for children, families, and child care providers in order to promote quality child care and quality services for families. We work very hard to help identify and to fill in gaps in services to families. This is done by creating new avenues and connecting with many community partners such as area agencies, organizations, families, and child care providers. We care about our children in Catawba County! If you would like more information please email Mthomas@catawbacountync.gov or she can be reached at 828-695-6511
Family Support Coordinator—Ashley Benfield: Ashley joined The Children’s Resource Center in June of 2010 and has worked in the field of early childhood for over 10 years. She is a native of Catawba County and a graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelors degree in Child and Family Studies. As Family Support Coordinator she works to ensure that quality education and information is given to parents and the general community regarding child care services here in Catawba County. Ashley strives to provide quality services to families, child care programs and the community based on the needs of the individual. If you would like more information please email Abenfield@catawbacountync.gov or she can be reached at 828-695-6512.
Family Support Specialist – Jennifer Whipple: Jennifer joined The Children’s Resource Center in July 2015 as The Family Support Specialist. Jennifer’s role will be to help parents locate quality child care within the community that best meets their needs. She can also help to connect parents to other community resources. Jennifer’s prior work experiences include School Nutrition Management with Catawba County Schools, Director of the Child and Adult Care Food Program at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and a Program Specialist with The Partnership for Children of Wayne County. In addition, she led the You and Me, Baby support group through The Parenting Network for a brief time. She also did a Child Life practicum at INOVA Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, VA and a Child Life internship at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. She holds a B.S. in Child Development from Appalachian State. Jennifer and her husband have one young daughter and son and they reside in Conover. If you would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or she can be reached at 828-695-6517.
Early Childhood Services Coordinator – La’Gentry Ross: La’Gentry joined The Children’s Resource Center in August 2015. She is a North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University graduate. Aggie Pride! She served Guilford county schools as both an undergraduate student and a Kindergarten/ Pre-K teacher for 2 years. La’Gentry graduated from Walden University in 2014 with a M.S. in Early Education with a focus in Educating Educators. She also served the Gaston and Lincoln county community for four years as a North Carolina PreK Teacher for the local Head Start program and is a licensed teacher in the State of North Carolina. As the Early Childhood Services Coordinator La’Gentry will work to promote/coordinate professional development plans and activities in all early childhood programs, as well as, provide technical assistance to family child care homes and centers throughout Catawba County. If you would like more information please email email@example.com or she can be reached at 828-695-6514.
Latino Community Specialist – Leonor Tobar: Leonor helps to connect The Children’s Resource Center with the Latino community in Catawba County. She is available for parent referrals, as well as interpreting and translating information for our child care and business community. Leonor provides training for Spanish speaking child care teachers and families in our area. She also helps our community better understand and appreciate the Latino culture. Leonor has many years experience in the child care field including 15 years at Abernathy Child Development Center. She also currently works as a Parents as Teachers parent educator. Leonor is a firm believer that the best teacher a child has is his/her parents. Therefore, we need to help to develop a parent’s potential to the maximum. Collaboration between homes, child care, and community is key to a child’s success. If you would like more information please email her at Ltobar@catawbacountync.gov or call 828-695-6515
Provider Support Specialist – Terri Huene: In 1987 Terri was employed as the Director of Catawba Ridge Child Development Center. The center grew from 89 children to 276 children. During that time, she returned to school and graduated with a Human Services Degree from Gardner Webb. She remained at Catawba Ridge for 10 years. Terri then owned another child care center for 12 years and operated it for 4 of those years. In 2000, Terri became an Education Specialist on the Early Childhood Support Team, and continues to provide services to center directors and staff. During the fall of 2009, Terri joined the Children’s Resource Center to provide services for family child care homes and to assist the child care community in any way possible. If you would like more information please email THUENE@catawbacountync.gov or she can be reached at 828-695-6592.
Provider Support Specialist – Susan Arnold: Bio coming soon.
Alignment Specialist- Shawna Huffman: Shawna has many years of experience in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Master Degree in Reading Education from Appalachian State University. She joined the Children’s Resource Center team in 2014 as an Alignment Specialist for Race to the Top. She is also a trainer and technical assistance provider.
Regional Infant Toddler Specialist – Loraine Barker-Witkowski: Loraine has been in the Early Childhood field for over 20 years. She has worked as a teacher with all ages and served as director for an on-site university center and a faith-based part-day program. She has been an Early Childhood trainer for seven years. Loraine loves helping fellow professionals who share her love of working with young children. Knowing we help to shape their lives for the better is her passion. If you need help in your Infant or Toddler classroom please contact Loraine at (704) 477-5101 or email her at Loraine@ccchildcareconnections.org.
Pam Sigmon: Healthy Social Behaviors Specialist – Pam Sigmon: Pam joined the staff of Child Care Connections (CCC) in August of 2012, as a Parent Referral Specialist. In February 2013, she assumed the role of Healthy Social Behaviors Specialist, for Region 7. She came to CCC following several years of preschool classroom teaching experience. A graduate of Western Carolina University, Pam holds a BS in Birth-Kindergarten/Early Childhood Education. She and her husband Kevin live in Lincoln county with their daughter, Zoey, where they are actively involved in their community. Her personal philosophy is “social/emotional competence is the central mission of the preschool years.” Please feel free to contact her at 704-487-7397 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org