Deirdre Greco was one of 38 early childhood educators recently named a master leader in the field of early care and education by Child Care Information Exchange. Greco has been in the field since graduating from Wheelock College in Boston with a B.S. in Elementary Education, and has worked in the Capital Region since the mid-’70s.
As director of the Samaritan-Rensselaer Children’s Center, her responsibilities include licensing, equipping, staffing, programming, and financial planning for the center. Through an agreement between Rensselaer and St. Peter’s Health Partners, the parent company of Samaritan, day care is available for the children of faculty, staff, and students at Rensselaer.
“All jobs come with perks. My perks are seeing smiling children’s faces each day, receiving warm hugs, and hearing singing voices,” says Greco. “I was thrilled and humbled to be selected by an international child care magazine as one of 38 master leaders. The master leaders were chosen from child care professionals around the world; I am honored to be among them.”
Paul Martin, assistant vice president for administration at Rensselaer, explained that for the past two decades, children of Rensselaer faculty, staff, and students have comprised about 60 percent of available spaces at the Samaritan-Rensselaer Children’s Center. “Twenty years ago, we merged our child care program with Samaritan’s due to the quality of their programming,” he said.
In addition to child care, the center also holds an annual RPI Summer Day Camp for children ages 4 through 12 on the Rensselaer campus.
All jobs come with perks. My perks are seeing smiling children’s faces each day, receiving warm hugs, and hearing singing voices. I was thrilled and humbled to be selected by an international child care magazine as one of 38 master leaders.—Deirdre Greco
Both of Professor Deanna Thompson’s children attended the center before they began school and she said they will continue to attend the Summer Day Camp. “The center runs a very high-quality program and the summer program provides both educational and fun activities. There is a rich diversity, both ethnically and socioeconomically, and the fact that the center is close to campus and that the kids visit campus provides peace of mind for the faculty and staff whose children go there.”
Master leaders have proven themselves as leaders in their organizations and take leadership roles in building the profession, as well as advocating for children and their families at local, state, and/or national levels.
The Exchange Leadership Initiative was launched in November 2014 to explore strategies for making leadership more visible in the field of early childhood education and to help support and develop new leaders.