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Hi, I'm Jane Ann.


When I was trying to decide on a name for this space I focused on what I wanted to be for early childhood educators and that was an ally.  In advocacy work an Ally is often defined as a person who uses their privilege to advocate on behalf of someone else who doesn't hold that same privilege.  I have been very fortunate to work at Grand Rapids Community College Early Childhood Learning Laboratory (ECLL) for 22 years. Although we have many of the daily struggles all programs experience we are supported by a host of allies in the college.  This inspires me to be an ally for others. Do I fail sometimes? Yes. Do I second guess myself?  Yes.  Have I spoken up to a person in power with a shaky voice.  ABSOLUTELY.  Have I ever regretted the decision to be an ally? Never!  This community is designed to create a space that is an ally for early childhood.


A little bit about me, my name is Jane Ann and I have been an Early Childhood professional for 40 years.  I have worked with all age groups including kindergarten and after-school. I was the Director at Grand Rapids Community College ECLL, an accredited program for 20 years.  The ECLL partners with the Child Development Department to offer the Learning Laboratory. I loved teaching the Early Childhood Administration course for 15 years.  

GRCC is located in the heart of Grand Rapids and the ECLL is the gateway to campus. 


Since moving into semi-retirement I have been working as a Lead Coach at GRCC in our Play and Learn project.   This work is joyful working with caregivers, families, children and partners in our community.  In addition, I have been working as a Coach with Directors and teams to support their work. 

Brief Overview:

Master of Education:

Adult Learning with an emphasis in Early Childhood 

Bachelor of Arts:

Early Childhood Services and Sociology

Over 40 years of experience in the field.


  • Early Learning Neighborhood EPIC Advocate of the Year (2018)

  • Michigan Association of the Education of Young Children - Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)

  • Inaugural Director of the Year - Western Michigan Association for Young Children (2010)

  • Lillo (Formerly Himama)  Early Childhood Educator of the Year (2020)

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