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Naperville woman, director of Westmont KinderCare receives community service award

WESTMONT – The director of KinderCare in Westmont is the new recipient of a leadership and community service award.

Randa Salem, who has led the Westmont location for the past eight months, was given the Leadership & Community Service for Encouraging Awareness for Early Education award through AmeriTrust Corporation and TCF Bank on Sept. 10.

The award honors Salem and KinderCare for their community service events and relationship building with KinderCare families, Salem said.

The Westmont location is at 1111 Pasquinelli Drive.

Salem, who has been with KinderCare since 2007, is responsible for about 12 teachers at the center and servicing infants through 12-year-olds.

Why was the award given? The award was given due to community service events that KinderCare has offered and being sure our families are involved. We try to do a monthly event or two that help our parents spend time at the center... With parent workshops, how to potty train boot camp for our first time parents or parent teacher conferences... It all comes down to parent involvement.

Why do you think KinderCare important? Because everything KinderCare does is designed for learning. The curriculum is phenomenal. I see parents agree and that’s where it starts ... That’s why it’s important.

What did it mean to receive the award? It really was the cherry on top of the year. Each KinderCare center is a different community and the teachers are different. ... A little bit of happiness goes a long way ... We’re doing a great job.

Where do you go from here? We’ve already reached a good quality level and it’s all about quality. I have great parents and a good group of teachers but I want to go to the next step with the MAC Accreditation. That will help bring in the new year. It means our quality is great, and we provide the best of the best. When I get to that point, that’s when I’ll do my dance.

What keeps you going? It’s our team. Our team does a really good job. The hardest thing is hiring but when you find good teachers, you know they have that motivation. Everyone has a family and schedule but we make it work and show up the next day with a smile.

What’s the best part of your job? Relationship building with the children... I can walk in and engage the students and have fun. It’s the best of both worlds. I’m involving the parents and coaching the teachers and the children are getting the best care and education possible.

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