Suzanne Price, Director
Suzanne Price's goal in establishing Sunshine Special
was to provide an educational program of the highest caliber in an environment that nurtures the child and assists the family. As a working parent who had selected early childhood programs for her own daughter, Suzanne has strived to create a classroom environment characterized by respect and sensitivity that supports children's creativity and imagination.
As an educator with both early childhood and adult teaching experience, Suzanne is a dedicated advocate for young children. She is a board member of the Washtenaw Association for the Education of Young Children. She is a member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Previously, Suzanne served as president of the Early Childhood Directors Association of Washtenaw and of Childcare Network, a Michigan 4-C resource and referral agency.
Qualifications for this position are a degree in child development or early childhoood education and work experience with young children in school and group settings.
Lead and Assistant Teachers
Each class has a lead teacher and an assisting teacher. Lead teachers have a college degree with a teaching certification in Early Childhood Education or K-12 Education with an early childhood credential or post-graduate training in early childhood education. Assistant Teachers have work experience with young children and on-the-job training and early childhood training seminars. Specialists in Spanish, Art, and Music have college training in those disciplines. All teachers have CPR and First Aid training, renewed annually.
Child Development Specialist, Consultant
Sunshine Special retains a child development specialist as a resource to teachers and parents. Our consultant's qualifications include an MSW or advanced degree in psychology with specialization in children, in addition to clinical experience with children and families.
Sunshine Special Children's Studio completes the following list of steps to screen new employees:
- Written applications for full time, part time staff and volunteers require a list of employment history along with work and personal references. At least two references are contacted by phone and for lead teachers at least one written reference is on file. College transcripts are part of each employee’s employment file.
- The director interviews all applicants, and lead teachers have an on-site day of observation in the classroom.
- New employees and volunteers are screened for criminal history by the Michigan State Police I-Chat system.
- The director undergoes finger printing for clearance through a national FBI criminal history data bank.
- New employees and volunteers are reviewed by the Michigan Child Protective Services for clearance of charges of substantiated child abuse or neglect.
- New employees and volunteers are trained in recognizing signs of child abuse or neglect and how to report it.
- New employees and volunteers complete an employment physical with recommendation by the physician of the individual's physical and mental ability to work with children. A negative TB test is required.