Seventeen Outstanding Child Care Providers Nationally Recognized

Sep 21, 2010, 12:00 ET from KCET

Members of Congress joined PBS Stations KCET and WETA in the "Third Annual National Child Care Providers Awards Ceremony"

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seventeen outstanding child care providers were recognized for their commitment and dedication to providing outstanding quality child care at the "Third Annual National Child Care Providers Awards Ceremony" held today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  

The ceremony was presented by public television stations KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (Washington, D.C.) and the award winning PBS informational series A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos en Su Casa. The ceremony recognized the important role that child care providers play in raising pre-school age children and preparing them for Kindergarten. Members of Congress, including Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Harry Teague (D-NM) and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA), helped present awards.  PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger spoke at the event.

"We are very pleased to honor these outstanding child care providers who have dedicated their life's work to teaching and providing quality care to young children," said Al Jerome, KCET president and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are proud of these special people who play such an important role in children's lives and pleased that A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos en Su Casa can support them in this important responsibility of helping to prepare young children to succeed in school."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than six in 10 young children in the United States are cared for regularly by a provider. A Place of Our Own and its Emmy® award-winning Spanish language companion, Los Ninos en Su Casa, have undertaken the role of providing useful information, guidance, and training for providers through broadcast and online support services.  In fact, 80 percent of child care providers who watched the series reported learning better child care skills.

"The providers we recognize have all gone above and beyond in their commitment to providing outstanding, quality child care and I'm pleased we can take part in celebrating their dedication to children and recognize  the important role they play as our children's very first teachers," said KCET Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Mary Mazur. "KCET and PBS stations throughout the country are proud to be part of a series that helps assist child care providers in carrying out their important responsibilities of caring for our communities' most precious resources."

The 17 national child care providers were all selected as "Caregivers of the Week" by public broadcasting stations in their area.  They have been profiled on the programs as well as on the shows' websites at and

The seventeen national honorees are: Luz Angelica Schuitt of Anchorage, AK; Carmina Mariscal of Green Valley, AZ; Lisa Weidknecht of Pflugerville, TX; Marcia Ahrens of Lakewood, CA; Diana Cataffo of Castle Rock, CO; Melbert Johnson of Washington D.C.; Regina Osborn of Panama City, FL; Natalie Kanaby of Lafayette, IN; Marnetta Larrimer of Bossier City, LA; Debra Walker of Bowie, MD; Nancy Mancha of Las Cruces, NM; Rosanna Nevells of Staten Island, NY; Maya Thomas-Bey of Cleveland, OH; Tonya Fetzer of Lucasville, OH; Nicole Chaudry of Seattle, WA; Laura Patino, Houston, TX; and Ruth Williams of Laramie, WY.

KCET launched A Place of Our Own and its Spanish-language companion, Los Ninos en Su Casa in September of 2004 striving to meet the needs of child care providers.  The two daily talk shows are devoted to the needs of caregivers, providing practical advice and tips dealing with issues such as discipline, education, nutrition, relationships, and more.  The shows are produced at KCET and air nationwide on local PBS stations.

The two shows have been recognized with several national and local awards, including a Peabody, Parent's Choice, and Emmy.  

Major funding for "A Place of Our Own" and "Los Ninos en Su Casa" comes from BP, First 5 California, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  For more information check your local listing, or, visit and


On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. More than four million viewers watch KCET in the average month. KCET is the most-watched PBS station in Southern California and the second most-watched public television station in the nation. National PBS series produced from the station's Hollywood studios include Sid the Science Kid, four-time NAACP Award winner Tavis Smiley and the Peabody Award-winning series A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos en Su Casa, series for caregivers of young children.  

Other KCET productions for PBS have included School: The Story of American Public Education, narrated by Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep; American Family, the first primetime drama to feature an all-Hispanic cast; The First Year, a documentary about five beginning teachers in the Los Angeles public school system; Storytime, a series aimed at getting young children interested in stories and books; and Puzzle Place, a single comedy/drama storyline featuring a multiethnic cast of puppets who helped children learn about sharing, decision making, and other daily encounters in a child's life.

Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services, and its Web site, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. More than half of the funds raised to support KCET's operating budget come from individual support. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit