Meet Your Instructors

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Anita Bauer

Anita Bauer has been passionate about Early Childhood Development and Education since the birth of her first child. During the following 32 years, she has added four more children to her flock and dedicated her time to offering high quality learning experiences to many families in the community as child care provider, preschool teacher, and mentor/coach to other Early Childhood Professionals. Along the way, she pursued her dream and received a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Besides working full time as an Early Childhood Trainer/Professional Development Specialist III and STARS Consultant for Human Resources and Development Council, District 7, in Billings, she also teaches online Early Childhood Courses for the University of Montana Western.

Contact: abauer@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Best Beginnings Scholarship Basics for Providers
  • Food Safety in Child Care
  • Full Spectrum Support
  • Gettin’ Out There: The How, Why, and Where of Field Trips
  • Inclusion 1 & 2
  • Let’s Think About It! Fostering Critical Thinking Skills in Early Childhood
  • Montana Early Learning Standards
  • No Child Left Inside!
  • Observation: The Why, What, When, Who, Where, How, and Then
  • Positive Guidance in Early Childhood Settings
  • STARS to Quality Essentials (Section 2)
  • Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Working with Temperament
  • Together We Grow (Section 1)
Khristi Drabbs

Khristi Drabbs holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Dawson Community College and is steadily working towards completing her B.S degree through the University of Montana-Western through online courses.

Khristi has worked in the Early Childhood field for about 30 years in various capacities—including her own Family Group Child Care for over 10 years where she is proud of having attained a STAR level 3. She currently works for Hi-Line Home Programs, Inc. as the CACFP Technician and as a Family Support Specialist Assistant for Early Intervention Services. Khristi has facilitated courses for Child Care Training since March 2016 and enjoys helping the providers learn and improve their practices.

Khristi and her husband have 5 children, and 2 grandchildren. While her husband and son farm, she and their youngest son raise bum calves and have built up a small cow herd. In her free time (who are we kidding—she has no free time!) she enjoys camping in her retro motor home bus, arts and crafts of many kinds, spending time with her family and friends, and Diet Coke.

Contact: kdrabbs@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Around the Table
  • Child Abuse and Neglect: Mandatory Reporting
  • Food Safety in Child Care (Section 1)
  • Fundamentals of Family, Friend, and Neighbor/Relative Care Exempt Providers Orientation
  • Health and Safety Overview for Family, Friend, and Neighbor/Relative Care Exempt Providers
  • New Staff Health & Safety Orientation Section 2
  • Sources, Signals, and Solutions:  Food Allergies and Intolerances
  • The Importance of Healthy Fats for Developing Minds and Bodies

Denise Herman

Contact: dherman@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Food Safety in Child Care (Section 2)
  • Infant Safety Essentials (Section 1)
  • Montana Early Learning Standards (Section 2)
Debra Huestis

Deb Huestis holds Bachelor Degrees in Child Development and Family Relations and Cognitive Psychology from the University of Idaho. She has been involved in the Early Childhood Care and Education field for 19 years. She started her career as a preschool teacher and has worked her way through Education Coordinator of a Children’s Museum, Early Childhood Core Instructor for UM Western, coordinator for Montana’s Early Learning Guidelines Birth - 36 months, and is currently a PDS III for Child Care Solutions MT.

Contact: dhuestis@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Building Skills and Safe Spaces (For Childcare Providers)
  • Building Skills and Safe Spaces (For Non-Childcare Providers)
  • Montana Early Learning Standards (Section 1)
  • STARS to Quality Essentials (Section 1)

Ann Klaas holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Alfred University in New York and a Master’s in Early Childhood from MSU. She ran her own family child care for 6 years, worked for the Resource & Referral Agency, Child Care Connections as their trainer for 11 years and has been the Professional Development System Coordinator at the Early Childhood Project for 13 years.

Contact: aklaas@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • A Beautiful Mess: Art for Infants and Toddlers
  • Building Skills Through Block Play
  • Deliberate Designs - Learning and Play Environments
  • Foundations for Trainer
  • Inexpensive, Safe, Learning and Play Activity Tips from Ms. Sue!
  • Infant Safety Essentials
  • Introduction to Reggio Emilia
  • Introduction to the Montana Early Childhood Project
  • Loose Parts - Explorations with Infants and Toddlers
  • Loose Parts - Inspired Play Experiences with Found Objects
  • Loose Parts STEM Explorations
  • Pathway to Kindergarten
  • Responsive Lesson Planning for Infants and Toddlers
  • Training Strategies
  • What’s With This Biting?

Chauntel Lucier has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Science/Child Development from Montana State University - Bozeman and has worked in the early childhood field in Montana for over 20 years. Chauntel is currently worked for the Early Childhood Services Bureau as a Child Care Policy Specialist. Chauntel started her career working for the Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies both in Bozeman and Great Falls before going to work as a Child Care Licensor in Missoula prior to working with the Early Childhood Services Bureau.

Contact: clucier@mt.gov

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Best Beginnings Scholarship Basics for Providers
  • Eligibility Basics

Kimberly Minckler is an early childhood professional in Missoula, Montana. Starting out as a University of Montana Elementary Education graduate in 2005, she spent three years substituting in the public schools. In 2008, Kimberly was offered a position as a lead PreK teacher and Curriculum Coordinator for a Missoula child care center, and was eventually promoted to Assistant Director. 

She eventually left in 2015 when her own family began to grow. Knowing that her passion was in early childhood, Kimberly opened her own in-home Program which achieved National Accreditation and Stars for Quality level 5. Her passion only continued to grow as she learned new ways to improve quality and support the child care community. Kimberly went back to school and earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood May 2019. Now Kimberly continues to advocate for early childhood professionals and the youth of our community by teaching and facilitating classes through Child Care Resources.

Contact: kminckler@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Look Who's Talking: Language Development in Infants and Toddlers
  • Look Who’s Talking Too: Language and Literacy Development in Preschoolers!
  • YIKES Disaster Planning: Emergency Preparedness

Vicki Olson

Contact: volson@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Active, Willful, Curious, Unpredictable Two-Year-Old Children
  • Developmental Screening: Develop a process to identify and support individual child development, promote family engagement, and enhance program quality
  • Health and Safety Review 2019-2022 (Section 1)
  • Introduction to the Pyramid Model
  • It’s Not Magic: Using Curriculum and Assessment
  • Making Math Count
  • Montana Moves
  • Together We Grow (Section 3)
Sharon Rhodes

Sharon Rhodes holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education. Sharon’s 30 year career in the field of early childhood has included teaching in early childhood classrooms, administrating her own child care center, directing a Bright Horizons child care center, and working as a Professional Development Specialist for Great Falls CCRR. Sharon currently teaches early childhood classes online for the University of Montana Western.

Contact: srhodes@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Building Partnerships with Families
  • Discussing Equity in Early Childhood Education
  • Ethics in Early Childhood Education
  • Exceptional Early Childhood Environments
  • Health and Safety Review 2019-2022 (Section 2)
  • How to Make a Profit in Child Care
  • I DO THAT! Linking Early Childhood Theories to Practice
  • Is This Appropriate? Understanding Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education
  • Leading the Way: Defining Your Leadership Role in Early Childhood
  • New Staff Health & Safety Orientation Section 1
  • Outdoor Environments
  • Open Ended Art: The Power of the Process
  • Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases & Immunizations
  • Protecting Children from Harm
  • “THAT’S SCARY!” Supporting Young Children During Scary Times
  • Terrific Twos: A Survival Guide
  • Together We Grow (Section 2)
Arwyn Welander

Arwyn Welander has been involved in the field of early childhood for over 20 years combined working in child care settings, Early Head Start and WIC. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Community Health and Psychology from the University of Montana. She currently works to promote healthy food access to children and families.

Contact: awelander@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Growing Healthy Youngsters from Seed to Plate
  • Healthy Smiles: Promoting Oral Health in Child Care
  • Lil’ Kids Cook Too!
  • Medication Administration in Child Care - Part 1
  • Medication Administration in Child Care - Part 2
  • Medication Administration in Child Care Refresher
  • M’mm-M’mm Good! Creative Snacks!
  • The Sweet and Sour on Sugar
  • Top Tips for Tiny Tummies

Jennifer Williamson works as a Professional Development Specialist for Child Care Resources. Jennifer has worked in early childhood education since 1997. Her experience varies from family home child care provider, Assistant Director of NAEYC accredited Montessori preschool, to Quality Coaching, parenting class coordination, professional development coordination, conference planning, work in both the Language Arts and Math classrooms of Adult Basic Education, and a thorough knowledge of the Pyramid Model (CSEFEL). Jennifer has worked with children with special needs ranging from both physical and cognitive delays to learning differences and behavior challenges. Jennifer earned a B.A. from the University of Montana and achieved a Level VI on the Child Care Practitioner's Registry through the Early Childhood Project at Montana State University-Bozeman. She also is a member of the Trainer Registry..

Contact: jwilliamson@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Around the Table
  • Balanced Blood Sugar for a Balanced Life
  • Behavior and Classroom Management Through a Gender Lens
  • Family Child Care Contracts and Policies
  • Family Child Care Marketing
  • Family Child Care Record Keeping and Taxes
  • Gluten Free Guide
  • How Boys and Girls Learn Differently
  • Introduction to Skilled Therapy in a Care Provider Facility and Red Flag Warnings
  • Intuitive Eating and Body Positivity in the Classroom
  • Montessori Math: What is it anyway?
  • Mood and Food
  • Staying Healthy
  • Strategies for Teaching our Youngest Boys and Girls
  • What’s Your Intention? Applying Intentionality to Your Early Childhood Practice
  • Vegetable Variety
Lindsay Van Nice

Lindsay Van Nice has been with Child Care Resources (CCR) as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Specialist since July 2021. Nutrition and early childhood development are Lindsay’s passions and have had a huge emphasis on her life. Lindsay graduated with Honors from Metropolitan State University of Denver with her bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Lindsay grew up in a group home childcare where she has also worked at for several years. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge and experience with the providers in the community.

Contact: lvannice@childcareresources.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Brain Foods
  • CCR CACFP FY21 Required Program Management and Nutrition Training
  • I Don’t Like That! A Guide to Picky Eating

Wade Vitany has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and has served in the non-profit sector since 2014. He has worked as a teacher's aid, small group interventionist, and as a direct support specialist for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. He has been at Child Care Resources and Child Care Training since November 2019, as an administrative assistant and technical assistant.

Contact: wvitany@childcaretraining.org

Facilitating the following course(s):

  • Supporting Child and Families Experiencing Homelessness
Last modified: Friday, September 17, 2021, 12:47 PM