tina grant

Tina Grant, Director

Tina was hired at The Children’s Early Learning Space as an Infant/Toddler teacher in 2007 and became our Program Director in 2011. She has been working with children and families for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, including program coordination for teen parents, home visiting, special needs, and in-home and center-based teaching with children 0-3.

Tina is a lifelong learner taking time to contribute and advance her training whenever possible, including participation in a Washington County child care center Directors’ Group, and former leadership of the Washington County Success by Six Initiative. She sits on the Central Vermont Building Bright Futures Council of professionals and has earned a Program Director Step 2 Certificate. Along with spending time with children she enjoys kayaking, camping and sitting by her backyard fire.

“This is who I am.”

Sandy Bettis, Office Manager

Sandy comes to us from a long career with the State of Vermont.  She lives in Middlesex with a Chow named Simba.  She handles TCELS bookkeeping and administrative duties.  In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring, tutoring, reading, movies and exploring new places.   


Clara, Assistant Director & Toddler Room

Clara grew up in Southern Vermont and earned her BA in Visual Arts from Marlboro College. She started teaching officially in 2003 after helping at the child care center her mother directed in her youth, and is working towards a certificate in early education at Central Vermont Community College. In 2005 and 2006, her first child and second child were born and she chose to take a break and stay home. She has been living in Waterbury with her family for the past eight years. In her free time, Clara loves to hike, swim, camp, ski, garden, and share the beauty of Vermont with her own children and the children she works with, getting outside as much as possible! "Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water."

"Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn." Loris Malaguzzi

Mariah, Infant Room

Mariah has been working in the Infant/Toddler Program for the last four years. Mariah started working in  licensed preschools in 2012. Since then, she has  graduated with a Certificate in Early Education and Human Services, and is continuing her education at Community College of Vermont. In the next few years she plans on obtaining a preschool teaching license.When Mariah is not teaching she enjoys exploring New England with her two Siberian Huskies!

"Children are great imitators, so give them something good to imitate."


Cathy, Toddler Room

Cathy is a 1996 graduate of the University of Vermont with a four year degree in early childhood education. She has been an infant and toddler teacher ever since, taking time away when her second child was born. Cathy has enjoyed the relationships built with families throughout the years and finds this the most rewarding part of her career. She believes that supporting social and physical growth are the two most important factors of learning from birth through preschool.

"Children's work is to play."

A partnership of families, educators, and community supporting children in their discoveries as they prepare for life's experiences. 

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