Meet CHS Middletown Center Director
Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning plans to open six Early Childhood Education Centers to serve children from birth to age 5 in Pennsylvania, with all costs covered for qualifying families. Our first location in Hershey, Pa., recently opened, serving local children and families. Meanwhile, the professional development program for our Harrisburg teachers and staff is well underway in advance of their center’s 2024 opening. Then, there is CHS Middletown, our third location, scheduled to open in 2025. Hiring for this location has just begun, and leading the effort is Center Director Jessica Knaub.
Jessica joined the CHS mission earlier this year with 20 years of experience working in early childhood education. She began her career as a toddler teacher and worked herself up to director, program coordinator, and eventually a regional manager for both corporate and non-profit child care programs.
Jessica says her passion for early childhood education is deep. Two key points that drive that passion are her belief that every child deserves access to quality early childhood education and early childhood education teachers should be valued, trained, and appreciated for the important work they are doing and their dedication to our youngest learners.
Falling in love with our mission, she says there are countless reasons why. Close to the top of the list are our connections with enrolled families, referencing our integrated family services and dedicated staff members working with families to achieve success. She says this open communication is going to be essential in ensuring that we are supporting the success of CHS children at school and at home. She adds that another reason why the mission resonates so much with her is that CHS teachers and staff are valued in that they are allotted time to expand their knowledge and establish team dynamics before welcoming children. They are also able to do their best work with low child-to-teacher ratios and classroom support.
Jessica says this work could not be more important, referring to the research that shows the benefits of quality early childhood education and the clarity that the first few years of a child’s life can have a profound impact on their future. “CHS Middletown is going to be a place where families, children, and teachers come each day to feel safe, cared for, and supported on whatever path they desire,” she stated. “I cannot wait to become a part of the Middletown community and provide area children and families with opportunities to grow, learn, and thrive.”