Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Ms. Rachael Haaland for her outstanding leadership and positivity as she serves families and children during this pandemic by naming her our Iowan of the Week.
Rachael is an exceptional Childcare Site Manager at the ChildServe Childcare center in Johnston, Iowa. Her co-workers and colleagues shared that she is a fun-loving, creative, genuine, and encouraging person. She challenges her team every day to be their best and to embrace the many opportunities they have each day to make a positive difference for every child, every family, and especially to each other.
With the children in her center, Rachael doesn’t just focus on the basic components of quality childcare. She goes above and beyond to support her teachers to provide memorable early learning experiences that set the stage for children’s future success in school and life. She promotes a positive work and care environment; she encourages her staff to truly enjoy their jobs, and the children they care for to engage in activities together to promote learning, interpersonal connection, and fun. Rachael created an atmosphere where staff, children, and families thrive through shared respect and regard for their uniqueness, but also their common goals and values.
During this COVID-19 crisis, Rachael knows that the families she serves, and her coworkers at ChildServe, are all feeling concerned and stressed. Everyone is focused on making sure they are providing a safe environment where our children can still play and learn. She has maintained a steady level of communication with her community, and collaboration has been exceptional during a time that has been difficult for all.
Rachael has ensured a safe work and care environment by adapting space, establishing new cleaning protocols, and making necessary changes throughout the center to minimize the risk to children and staff and follow CDC guidelines. During all of this, she still planned fun, theme-based activities to promote the joy of learning in these children and give them a break from the world outside. As a mom of two boys, I know the parents and families Rachel works with are grateful for the extra cleaning, extra work, and extra thought Rachel is investing into ChildServe.
It is my distinct honor to name Rachael Haaland as our Iowan of the Week and thank her for her commitment to early childcare and education. Although we do not know what the future holds, we know it is a bright future with educators and childcare providers like Rachael Haaland in our community.