Educator Spotlight | Anne Hough

Anne Hough, Education Administrator at Grace Day Care

Early childhood education is one of the most challenging yet under-appreciated teaching environments to work in. Low wages, lack of professional development and long days are the norm, and all too often, not enough recognition is given to these important individuals.

At HiMama, we firmly believe that early childhood professionals deserve to be celebrated. Through our Educator Spotlight series, we shine a light on early childcare professionals who are doing great work in their community.

In this spotlight, say hello to Anne Hough, Education Administrator at Grace Day Care in Lafayette, Indiana!

Anne’s Journey

Anne decided to enter early childhood education while working at her first center, Bobbie Noonan’s Child Care in Ft. Myers, Florida.

“I was enrolled at our community college and working part-time while going to school,” Anne recalls. “I soon found that I had a passion for this field and changed my course of study.”

After graduating and a series of promotions, she ended up as a director at the sister school of the center she was working at in Bonita Springs, Florida. In 1997 she earned her CDA and continued to work for that company in various positions until ultimately moving to Lafayette, Indiana in 2005. It was in Lafayette that Anne would land her current position as Education Administrator at Grace Day Care, a licensed center in Grace United Methodist Church.

“My passion for this field has only intensified and I love all my accomplishments,” Anne explains. “I am thankful to all my mentors and fellow educators that have given me the tools to be successful.”

Challenges in Early Education

As anyone in early childhood education knows, there are many challenges in this field, which there is no shortage of for Anne as well.

“My top 3 challenges are staffing, scheduling and being present,” Anne explains. “I find that our field has a large burn out rate. It is a challenge to find and retain qualified staff. We are a licensed, Paths to Quality Level 4 center nationally accredited by NAEYC; therefore, we have a ratio of qualified teachers that we must employ.”

Despite these challenges, Anne works hard to overcome them to maintain the high standards that she has helped establish at her center.

“My goal is to better the lives of our children, families and employees by offering benefits, competitive wages, and affordable care for families with a strong curriculum and engaging environment.”

Anne’s Passion for Early Education

Another challenge that Anne faces is on a personal level, as her responsibilities can often conflict with one another.

“I wish I could schedule myself better to be a mentor and be present for my staff,” she explains. “There is always something that needs attention or takes me away from offering them extra support.”

Being more present would allow her to more often experience what she loves so much about early education.

“I truly enjoy seeing the children light up when they learn a new skill, the teacher’s amazement when they overcome a challenge, and the appreciation from the families that know we do what we can for them.”

Parent Communication

Anne believes that great communication between staff and parents is the key to making a program successful — not just for children, but for the parents as well.

“Parent communication is important to me because it is how we gauge ourselves, our job and our field,” she says. “If parents are willing to communicate and connect with us, it creates an extension of family for all. It is satisfying to know we are making a difference in their lives.”

Career Goals

As for what the future holds, Anne would love to eventually expand her responsibilities in the field of early education.

“My career goal beyond my position now is to complete my Master’s in Education through Ball State University — which I am currently enrolled in — and to either become a licensing representative or work for IAEYC or NAEYC sometime in my future. I love mentoring, supporting and engaging with educators and helping where I can, and I believe any of those roles will allow me to do that.”

Do you have an educator you think should be in our Educator Spotlight? Contact us today and let us know!

Michael Keshen

Michael writes for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.