It is by having this advantageous spot that Moore is able to see
everyone who comes in as well as see the staff and children as they
move around the facility. A visitor is always greeted with a hello
from Moore, but she doesn't say hello, she sings hello.
When interviewed, Moore was busy making sure all the tickets for
that evening's lasagna dinner were dispersed, and she laughed when
asked just how many fundraisers the center has. "We have one about
every two minutes," Moore said. The calendar on the wall showing
cookouts, garage sales and more almost every week bears out how
active the center is at working to obtain additional funds.
That evening, cars lined up early to pick up the meals. It was a
case of everyone showing up at the same time, which would have many
people flustered, but not Moore. Instead she walked the snake of
vehicles, taking tickets, visiting and smiling and enjoying the
moment as she does in every moment she spends at the center. Often
she would be singing as she walked along. Her enthusiasm if anything
must be considered contagious if you spend any amount of time with
It is this joyful attitude, coupled with a solid business mind,
that has taken the Christian Child Care Center from shaky financial
ground to an organization that is on a solid track for financial
independence. Just short of a year ago, Moore was hired to take over
a facility deep in debt and past due on many bills. There was talk
that the center would have to fold due to finances, and that caused
parents to pull their children and move them to other day care
facilities before those other facilities ran out of available
openings. Moore, along with a new board of directors, came in with a
solid and positive business plan, and the results are nothing short
In just one year the center has paid off $45,000 of their debt.
"Right now we have three big bills left: an IRS debt, the bank
mortgage, and we owe the Odd Fellows," Moore explained.
When asked what this year's goals were, she showed just how
positive she thinks. "We would like to be debt-free by the end of
the year," she said.
Bill Martin, CCC board president, wanted to praise Moore's
stellar efforts. "I think that Coleen has been a marvelous
director," he said. "With her people skills, her leadership skills
and knowledge of the child care industry, she has really been
invaluable to us in our recovery from a difficult financial
An interview with Moore means there will be frequent
interruptions. Once, the Head Start bus came for a youngster, and
when a teacher was busy with another student, Moore got up, went to
the class and walked the young boy to the bus. Another time, kids
coming back from lunch came into the office to see Coleen before
returning to their class. They milled around her like they would
their mom, each vying for attention as they told her what they had
for lunch. The children were clinging and wanted hugs, which Moore
Moore knows each student well, and it is obvious in the
interaction between students and her, as well as staff and students,
that besides enthusiasm, the center has a great emphasis on caring
Although Moore is energetic and extroverted, she also has a solid
business sense. When asked how the center had changed in the past
year, Moore didn't need to look anything up. "We sometimes approach
80 students. Currently we have 23 children who are in foster care
and another 28 who we receive a portion of the expense of their care
from the state," she said. "We also have eight drop-in students here
from time to time." This is in contrast to the 56 children at the
center the first day Moore was on the job.
[to top of second column]
"We use best business practices. I am surrounded by a great staff
and we have a wonderful board of directors, and that helps so much,"
she relayed. Those best business practices, along with a strong dose
of enthusiasm, are helping Christian Child Care to grow.
The center also has lofty educational goals besides financial
ones. Moore and staff are working on obtaining three-star
accreditation with the state. This accreditation would mean more
money to help run the facility. The center relies a great deal on
state reimbursement for many of their students, and Moore says that
currently they are not having the problems with delays in
disbursements that many other agencies and organizations are having
with the state.
Moore likes to blend youthful fun and the students' inquisitive
nature into a learning situation. According to Angela Stoltzenburg,
director of the Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois,
Moore recently went to the Head Start locations to show teachers how
to bring enthusiasm into their "Reading Is Fun" program.
Moore believes including fun and using a child's inquisitive
nature to learn is important. "Each class has an educational
component in each day's activities," Moore said. The child care
facility also stresses fine motor, cognitive and self-help skills,
but all in an environment where the child feels safe and nurtured.
Recently youngsters had a "walk on the moon" project that had
them creating rocks and spaceman equipment for their sojourn.
Afterward the students received official certificates that they had
walked on the moon. They also learned about our cosmic neighbor, as
well as other things about space, but all in a fun atmosphere that
didn't even seem like learning to the youngsters.
The age acceptance of 6 weeks to 13 years means there are many
different challenges, but the entire staff has taken on the caring,
nurturing love of kids and caring attitude of their director.
Moore and her husband, Eric, have two children: Caitlin, 9, and
Alex, 8 years old. Asked if her children ever visit her day care,
she said, "Oh, yes, when they can, they come. They love it here." It
seems all the children love it at Christian Child Care, as do the
parents who entrust the staff to take good care of their most loved
treasures, their children.
It is this enthusiasm and commitment to caring for young children
that has made Coleen Moore this week's Personality of the Week.