670,504 children served healthy meals & snacks daily
Home Child Care Provider
Difficult life circumstances led Ramona Hursey to work in a child care center. She decided she would master her first “real job” working as an assistant and then move up the ladder until she was certified as a director. She realized along the way that she had found her true calling. Ramona opened her own child care home, where she models her program on what she has learned and uses curriculum she has modified to fit the children enrolled instead of a generic routine.
"Someone stepped up for me. They took my hand. I want to be able to reach back and pull others up. Sometimes that is all people need.”
Ramona’s biggest focus is making sure children are taken care of while their parents are at work, at school, or bettering themselves in some way. One of the keys is to focus on good nutrition where at times, she is serving the only food the kids will eat during the day. Ramona teaches the children about having a balanced meal and components that make a healthy diet. The older children go shopping at the grocery store with her and then everyone helps prepare the meal at home.
Ramona focuses on small life skills that will help the children be more independent when they go to kindergarten. They work on listening and following instructions. Children are taught skills like how to open their own milk cartons and use their utensils. Most importantly, Ramona likes to sit with the children and simply have conversations, modeling how to speak and be with others. This helps even shy children find their voice so they can ask for what they need.
Ramona’s ultimate goal is to provide top quality child care for those that may not be able to afford it. Along with the children, she also cares for the families, many of which are single mothers. She wants to be a stepping stone for them. They work together as a family to better themselves, which ultimately benefits the children.
From Champaign, Illinois, Ramona has been a CACFP participant through Nutrition for Children since 1998.