Helms to Join Child Care Aware® of America Board of Directors

Headshot of Terri Helms

Terri Helms, program director of Child Care Aware West Central Arkansas at National Park College, will join Child Care Aware® of America’s Board of Directors in January 2022.

Helms’ first professional experience as a para-professional and interpreter for the deaf at a public school in Lincoln, Nebraska, validated for her the value in focusing resources and attention on each and every child, emphasizing inclusive practices and the importance of family engagement. She worked as a volunteer in her children’s public schools, in faith-based programs, camps and community service agencies. She also taught as a substitute while completing her degrees and working in child care facilities. Her first supervisory position was at a Head Start program and, after relocating to Arkansas, she became an Early Childhood Education (ECE) trainer, a Child Development Associate (CDA) Instructor, technical assistance for quality, state-funded pre-K lead teacher and facility director for a private, then faith-based, Quality Level 3 program. Helms believes leadership is about encouraging others to be their best, using the strengths they have and stretching themselves beyond what they thought was possible.

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is a national membership organization that works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, including Child Care Aware of Central Arkansas, and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads innovative projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, and advance the early childhood education profession. CCAoA also conducts research and advocates for child care policies that foster equity and improve the lives of children and families.

“We’re honored to have Terri join our Board,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America. “Along with our current Board members, she will guide our organization as we help create an equitable, transformed child care system in 2022 and beyond.”

“My gratitude goes to National Park College and the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education for their support, as well as many early childhood mentors, teachers, family members, friends, students and child care providers who have held me accountable with high expectations and encouragement for this opportunity to serve as a member of the CCAoA Board,” said Terri Helms. “The journey is more than I ever dreamed and there is no doubt that this position will bring new growth through new expectations and challenges.”

CCAoA Contact: David Carrier, david.carrier@usa.childcareaware.org, 703-341-4161