2023 Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award Recipient – Child Care Center

Petersburg Children’s Center, Petersburg

Petersburg Children’s Center is located in beautiful Petersburg in Southeast Alaska! The program cares for children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age, and when fully staffed, employs 12-14 people. The program is licensed to serve up to 65 children.

Founded in 1974 by a local woman who saw a need for child care, Petersburg Children’s Center has cared for generations of Petersburg’s residents. A cornerstone in their community, local parents rely on the program. Sharlay’s nominator mentions that “she will sit down with parents to go over assistance applications, advocate with them to the board if needed, and makes sure to keep connected to the families, even in her administrative role. She is always the first to help in the classroom if needed and knows everyone who comes in”.

Like many child care programs, Petersburg Children’s Center is recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.  They are working on expanding their main facility to permanently accommodate the school-age program, after the pandemic forced them to move the school-age program into their main facility. They have also experienced staff turnover.  Director Sharlay Mamoe is a strong advocate and leads her staff in staying on top of the issue. “Sharlay is a leader in many ways, but she is ALWAYS advocating for early childhood education and the teachers in the field.” Petersburg Children’s Center is   hopeful that policy changes will come in the near future that support the field.

Their dedicated staff, continued support from the community, and help from Learn & Grow are what keep Petersburg Children’s Center thriving. They have completed dozens of trainings, both in and outside of work hours, to ensure the highest quality of care. The Petersburg Children’s Center team strives to provide the most eventful, structured, safe, and fun environments to learn in. “Sharlay is always looking to the next thing to help support her staff, ensure the quality of her program, and become better in her position as the director”.

The staff at this center work tirelessly to ensure the children are well cared for. Petersburg Children’s Center loves being there for the children of Petersburg and plans to for years to come.