December 2015 Child Care Provider of the Month – Babies 2 Kids Learning Center

February 28, 2016

Arlington, VA – Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), National Head Start Association (NHSA), and National Indian Child Care Association (NICCA) would like to congratulate Tracy Ehlert and the staff at Babies 2 Kids Learning Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They have been named Provider of the Month for December 2015.

Photo courtesy of Tracy Ehlert and Babies 2 Kids Learning Center

The Provider of the Month campaign was launched in May of 2015 in conjunction with Provider Appreciation Day on May 8 to honor outstanding child care providers and early childhood educators who exemplify what it means to be a quality care provider for children.

Providers like Ehlert go above and beyond to be outstanding in their field. Ehlert takes her career and the professional development of herself and her staff very seriously – acting as a member on numerous councils and networks, and as an advocate and trainer for other early childhood educators.

Ehlert actively engages the families she works with through various channels of support including email, memos, a parent board, social media, and face to face communication, along with inviting parents to participate in events and activities on-site.

But the learning for the children in her care doesn’t stop there. Tracy Ehlert also sends home resources to the families so they can also learn how to support healthy growth and development in their children, and brings parents in to the center for Literacy Nights and Curriculum Night so they can learn how to integrate those lessons at home.

Focusing on play-based learning, Ehlert and her staff use developmentally appropriate settings for all the children at the Babies 2 Kids Learning Center, and support healthy meals and fitness through the CACFP program. The children even have a raised garden bed on-site where they are shown how to plant, maintain, and harvest their own food!

Ehlert herself has a Certified Development Associate (CDA) designation, and is NAFCC accredited, earned a 5 out of 5 on the Iowa QRS, and is working toward her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (she already has her Associate’s degree in the same).

On the volunteer and advocacy work she undertakes in addition to all her other duties, Ehlert had this to say, “You can join boards, you can join committees, you can advocate for children, you can teach other professionals and help educate the field. Your voice and knowledge can make a difference. And through it all, the most important thing is with each new accomplishment and each new organization I started working with, I became a better and better provider which means my program just continues to become better and better.”

We’re so grateful to amazing examples of child care providers like Tracy Ehlert and her staff – they’re adding exponentially to the healthy growth and education of the children in their care.

Congratulations to Tracy Ehlert and the staff at Babies 2 Kids Learning Center! Ehlert will be recognized at the Child Care Aware® of America 2016 symposium alongside other exemplary providers across the country this April in Washington, D.C.

Nominate an Outstanding Provider

Do you know an outstanding provider or early childhood educator who is deserving of the Provider of the Month award? Visit for details on how to nominate them, and help Child Care Aware® of America and partner organizations honor those providers that go above and beyond every day!

cca-america-logo-rgbChild Care Aware of America
Child Care Aware of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. CCAoA works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit Follow them on Twitter @USAChildCare and on Facebook at

naeycNational Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC’s mission is to promote high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. NAEYC advances a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and supports all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. Learn more at

NAFCCNational Association for Family Child Care
The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. NAFCC accomplishes this mission by strengthening state and local associations as the primary support system for individual family child care providers, promoting a professional accreditation program which recognizes and encourages quality child care for children, representing family child care providers by advocating for their needs and collaborating with other organizations, and promoting the diversity of the family child care profession. Learn more at

New NHSA LogoNational Head Start Association
The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. For more information about NHSA, visit

NICCA logo with nameNational Indian Child Care Association
The mission of National Indian Child Care Association is to unify tribes and tribal organizations to promote high quality culturally relevant child care and development. National Indian Child Care Association will provide leadership, support, and communication on behalf of Native American children, families, and communities. To learn more about NICCA, visit or follow them on Facebook at


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Chrisi West

Written by Chrisi West

Chrisi has more than 11 years of experience in advocacy (grassroots and digital) through her work for nonprofits, and on candidate and issues organizing campaigns in Virginia and at the national level. She joined Child Care Aware of America in March 2015 and has supported the work of Child Care Aware of America on communications, digital organizing, and now as the director of advocacy, empowering CCR&Rs and family advocates to take action on child care and early childhood education.