My name is Terei Baker. I am a deep admirer of young children and their families. Navigating the world of childhood and parenthood can be seen as a Hero’s Journey for both child and adult. And I have been asked by so many parents to be on that journey with them. I have personally touched and cared for over 300 children and close to 500 children whom I have indirectly touched through supervising others. Being on these journeys is the greatest privilege I can ever imagine.
I have been in the field of Early Care and Education for more than 3 decades. My first journey into this field was as a Family Child Care provider in 1985 when I decided to stay home with my second daughter. I had my degree in Early Childhood Education so I put it to good use. This turned into a 10 year career. In the next 2 decades I facilitated the opening of an infant/toddler/preschool center on the VA site in San Francisco. I experienced center based caregiving/teaching as a Head Teacher in a Bright Horizon’s corporate, onsite child care center. From there I became a center director in 2 large childcare centers, North Bay Children’s Center and the Novato Youth Center. My choice after that was to go into the private sector as a trained Birth and Postpartum Doula joining that work with my time as a nanny for several families over 5 years. After spending a bit more time again in the center-based world, I met my match training new to the field Family Child Care providers throughout the Bay Area. This, my own journey, has brought me full circle back to Family Child Care. I am thrilled!
I have learned so much from these children. I’ve learned that infants are capable and competent from the moment of birth. They are “scientists in the nursery” when it comes to their understanding of their world. Their ability to navigate the myriad of changes in their growth and abilities has given me so much respect for the youngest of our young. Then comes the amazing skill of language that our 2 – 3 year olds journey into. Listening to how a few intelligible words turn into some of the most fully scripted, compelling stories is beyond exciting. Out of these stories come the amazing symbolic play you see in our 3 year olds, putting together their thoughts and ideas with their actions. The 3 year old also begins to develop relationships and friendships which leads to understanding the value of their peers. Independence and autonomy rue the day with the 3 year old population. Watch out as future leaders could well be in the making.
I am a wife, a mother of 2 daughters and a “Nana” of 4 grandchildren. I am an admirer of birds and elephants and a dreamer of possibilities to come. Mostly, I am a lover of young children, their families and their contribution to the world. If I can make a small impact towards that contribution then I am a happy woman. Thank you for the thrill of caring for your children.