Our Team

Early Care & Education in Napa for 25 Years

 
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Tiffany Kear is the Director of Children's Cottage Preschool & Infant Center. She was born and raised in Napa and graduated from Vintage High School. Tiffany completed her Early Childhood Education classes at Napa Valley College and graduated in 2005 with an A.S. Degree. She has worked in Early Childhood Education since then and loved every minute of it! Tiffany is very passionate about children and believes the ages of 0-5 offer a critical and unique opportunity for growth and development. Under her leadership she and her staff have the mission of providing the young children in care with a safe and loving environment structured to facilitate a future of lifetime learning. One of her favorite things is getting to know all the wonderful children and their families.

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Ray Welch (Mr. Ray) is the administrator and owner of Children's Cottage. When studying children's literature at the University of Connecticut he became interested in the early care and education of young children. Professor Francelia Butler asked Ray to be a Teacher's Assistant for the Children's Literature class and did so for 1 year. One of the highlights of working as a Professor's teaching assistant was the opportunity to meet P. L. Travers. She is the author of the Mary Poppins books and was a guest lecturer at Ray's Children's Literature class. Ray was inspired. He moved to California and got married. Then Ray and his wife Mary had un-diagnosed twin girls who were born at home! This was followed by a son born at home 3 years later. Ray and Mary started Children's Cottage Child Care in Napa in 1993.

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Miss Jessica is artistic, creative, bi-lingual, and loves helping all the children grow into life-long learners. Jessica just got an "A" in another Early Care & Education class she took at Napa Valley College. She loves music and movement and interacting with the youngest children in our care. Jessica is our "Honeybees" teacher.

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Miss Laura graduated from Vintage High School in 2012 and immediately started taking child development classes and general education toward a CFS certificate.  She is teaching in the Ladybug room. She enjoys interacting with each child, getting to know them as an individual as well as part of the social group.

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Miss Hallie has taught preschool for the last 15 years in Napa.  "I love the challenge and rewarding experience working with children. They are curious about the world around them wanting to explore all they can. I enjoy guiding them through their learning experiences! I love story times, science experiments, and art!"

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Miss Azucena works with the 2-year olds in the Ladybug room. She is married and her son is in our infant classroom. A bi-lingual teacher, she is taking more early childhood classes at Napa Valley College. As a parent herself, Azucena knows how to engage children in activities that result in fun and knowledge.

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Miss Astrid was born in Napa and graduated from Napa High School and then attended Napa Valley College.  She has 2 younger sisters and grew up helping to care for them.  One of her favorite books is The Hungry Caterpillar.  She loves seeing the toddlers grow,develop, and engage with each other. Astrid a teacher in the Caterpillars classroom and loves caring for some of our youngest children who are just beginning to walk.  

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Miss Janet grew up babysitting her 2 sisters and 3 brothers and got very good at it.  She studied early childhood education at Foothill College and now is one of our Infant teachers. Janet and her husband have a daughter Fatima, who is enrolled in our Preschool.

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Miss Kristy was born and raised in Sonoma County. She went to school at Santa Rosa Junior College and earned her certificate in child development. She has two girls aged 4 and 9. Kristy believes that children are wonderful to work with and she loves their wonderful smiles.

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Miss Dalia is currently completing her general Ed and her Associate's Degree in child and family studies. She has worked with kids since she was 17.  She enjoys educating and caring for kids because it's a way for her to learn and grow as a person along with the kids.  "It's nice to know they look up to you and you become a positive influence in their life."