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Seventeen Child Care Providers Receive National Recognition

Seventeen outstanding child care providers were recognized for their commitment and dedication to providing outstanding quality child care at the "Third Annual National Child Care Providers Awards Ceremony", held September 21st on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony was presented by public television stations KCET (Los Angeles), WETA (Washington, D.C.) and the award winning PBS informational series A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos en Su Casa. The ceremony recognized the important role that child care providers play in raising pre-school age children and preparing them for Kindergarten.

"We are very pleased to honor these outstanding child care providers who have dedicated their life's work to teaching and providing quality care to young children," said Al Jerome, KCET president and Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud of these special people who play such an important role in children's lives and pleased that A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos en Su Casa can support them in this important responsibility of helping to prepare young children to succeed in school."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than sixty percent of young children in the United States are cared for regularly by a provider. A Place of Our Own and its Emmy® award-winning Spanish language companion, Los Ninos en Su Casa, have undertaken the role of providing useful information, guidance, and training for providers through broadcast and online support services. In fact, 80 percent of child care providers who watched the series reported learning better child care skills.

"The providers we recognize have all gone above and beyond in their commitment to providing outstanding, quality child care and I'm pleased we can take part in celebrating their dedication to children and recognize the important role they play as our children's very first teachers," said KCET Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Mary Mazur.

The 17 national child care providers were all selected as "Caregivers of the Week" by public broadcasting stations in their area. They have been profiled on the programs as well as on the shows' websites at www.aplaceofourown.org and www.losninosensucasa.org.

The seventeen national honorees are: Luz Angelica Schuitt of Anchorage, AK; Carmina Mariscal of Green Valley, AZ; Lisa Weidknecht of Pflugerville, TX; Marcia Ahrens of Lakewood, CA; Diana Cataffo of Castle Rock, CO; Melbert Johnson of Washington D.C.; Regina Osborn of Panama City, FL; Natalie Kanaby of Lafayette, IN; Marnetta Larrimer of Bossier City, LA; Debra Walker of Bowie, MD; Nancy Mancha of Las Cruces, NM; Rosanna Nevells of Staten Island, NY; Maya Thomas-Bey of Cleveland, OH; Tonya Fetzer of Lucasville, OH; Nicole Chaudry of Seattle, WA; Laura Patino, Houston, TX; and Ruth Williams of Laramie, WY.

KCET launched A Place of Our Own and its Spanish-language companion, Los Ninos en Su Casa in September of 2004 striving to meet the needs of child care providers. The two daily talk shows are devoted to the needs of caregivers, providing practical advice and tips dealing with issues such as discipline, education, nutrition, relationships, and more. The shows are produced at KCET and air nationwide on local PBS stations.

The two shows have been recognized with several national and local awards, including a Peabody, Parent's Choice, and Emmy.

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