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Pat Crowley: 50 Years of Dedication to Children

When Pat Crowley, center director of LVCC at Spring Garden Early Learning Center in Easton, first began her career with the former Spring Garden Children’s Center in 1970, the early education and childcare field looked much different.

Caring for children in a group setting went by names like nursery school and daycare. A typical nursery school experience lasted only two or three hours per day. Prior to the days of smaller teacher-child ratios, a classroom size could be as large as 30 children led by two teachers.

In the 1970’s, more women entered or re-entered the workforce. They needed a safe place to bring their children while they worked. Subsidized childcare became available and Spring Garden was at capacity.

“Spring Garden was one of only a handful of nursery schools in the town of Easton in 1970,” Pat said.

Pat’s career blossomed as Spring Garden grew and opened new branches. She took on new roles as center director of the different sites. She received a promotion to program consultant, where she conducted in-house training and observations to enhance the early education program.

“So many stories, so many kids that I interacted with. I want to think that I’ve been a little part of everybody,” Pat said. “We’ve had some good success stories.”

Pat spent many years educating herself, as well as the children in her classrooms. She holds a Master of Science degree in early childhood education from Marywood University and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from East Stroudsburg University. She came from an educated family—professors/college-level teachers and dentists.

“The expectation was you’re going to school,” Pat explained.

What’s Pat’s next adventure? She plans to do what she enjoys most—read novels, cook, go to yard sales, and spend more time with friends.

“Whatever life brings,” Pat responded. “Take it day to day and relax a little bit. The main thing is to maintain good health.”

For those starting out in early childhood education, Pat left us with 50 years of lessons that she learned along the way.

  1. Each child is unique. Enjoy their personalities.
  2. Focus on letting the children know you value them.
  3. Build relationships. Parents are our partners.
  4. Embrace diversity. Families need to feel comfortable to build trust.
  5. Each day is day is a new day. Be flexible.
  6. Books don’t always prepare us for the realities of teaching child care. Some days are very challenging; but it’s always rewarding at the end of the day.

Congratulations on your retirement, Pat Crowley! We will surely miss you.