Research has shown that children get high-quality care when the caregiver is “attentive to the child’s needs, responsive to her verbal and non-verbal signals and cues, stimulate his curiosity and desire to learn about the world and are emotionally warm, supportive and caring.”
Raised in Sacramento, CA, Ms Mani grew up in a family that saw growth, both personal and professional, in education. Learning came not only from teachers and professionals but also from colleagues and peers. It was that strong foundation that led Ms Mani to earn a Bachelors in Environmental Economics from UC Berkeley and later an MBA from Drexel University.
Ms Mani’s career began in the environmental sciences. She spent 9 years working for the State of California pursing the state’s energy and air quality goals, and later in the private sector ensuring entities knew how to meet and manage their air compliance requirements.
While continuing her work for the environment, Ms Mani met her husband and soon the two welcomed a baby into their family. Wanting to instill a strong foundation of early education and learning in her own daughter, Ms Mani, being the well-prepared mother she is, began to research preschools within the Sacramento area. While doing so, Ms Mani found an extreme need for early education programs in East Sacramento that balanced learning the ABCs with learning how to be strong and kind individuals. She wanted to find a preschool that would not only fulfill the academic needs of her kids and also be a place where her children could learn how to be emotionally confident and self-sufficient through play. Soon, Ms Mani began a two-year-long passion project to create and develop Creative Spaces Preschool. A space where children are treated as unique human beings, where children feel secure, autonomous, and competent. And, of course, a space that is committed to being as safe, non-toxic, and environmentally responsible as possible.
Ms Lizzy has been the Program Director at Creative Spaces Preschool since the preschool’s inception in 2017. Ms Lizzy has a BA in Child Development from Sacramento State and has over 14 years of experience. She has her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development from CSU Sacramento as well as her Program Director permit through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Ms. Lizzy comes from a large family. She is the second oldest of 11 children. Growing up, it was her responsibility to help raise and care for her young siblings. From this experience, it has drawn her towards a career working with young children. She believes in creating a fun, safe, and nurturing environment for children and providing the support they need in their exploration, discoveries, and creations through hands-on experiences. Working in the field of Early Childhood Education has taught her patience, flexibility, and openness to new experiences.
During her free time, Ms. Lizzy enjoys reading, experiment with cooking, and traveling. She moved to Sacramento 10 years ago and was only planning to stay for a couple of years but fell in love with the city and decided to make it her home. Some of her favorite children’s authors are Laura Numeroff, Eric Carle, and Dr. Seuss. Ms. Lizzy is very excited to be part of Creative Spaces Preschool!
Ms. Marie grew up in Ventura, CA in a cozy beach town. She grew up in a family of 9 with lots of children running around. Growing up in a big family, she loved to play school and be the teacher for her younger siblings. With both parents being teachers and working with children, she grew to love teaching at a young age.
She went to Ventura Community College to begin her early childhood development and then continued on to CSU Chico where she graduated with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies, with hopes to work in the elementary school system. After college she joined a family with two toddlers as their full time nanny and fell in love with the preschool age again. After 2 years, she had the opportunity to move up to Sacramento. After working in retail to get settled in a new city, Marie is ready to join the world of childcare and education again. She is excited to meet the children and be a supportive and positive role model in their growth and development! She loves to have fun through creative activities like art, dance, and song. She is most excited to smile, laugh, and learn with the students of Creative Spaces!
In her free time, Ms. Marie loves going on hiking trips, hanging out with her friends, cooking, and riding her bike!
Ms. Jessica started her path of working with young children as she was going to school and planning to work with elementary-age students. She began teaching in a preschool classroom and discovered a love and passion for early childhood education. Ms. Jessica strongly believes in a child and teacher-directed approach and providing young children with social skills that they will carry with them throughout their childhood and into adulthood. In 2014 after she decided to further her education and knowledge in early childhood and began taking classes to receive her bachelor’s in Child Development. She has now been working in early childhood for a little over ten years and still loves every second of it. During her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with family, reading, cooking, traveling, and being outdoors as much as possible.
Ms. Bella has always known that she wanted to work with children from a young age. Growing up, her mom kept Bella’s All About Me poster from Kindergarten on which she had said she wanted to become a teacher when she grew up. Bella first started working with children at her church, in the children’s minister. This is when she truly fell in love with early childhood education. Soon after, Bella was hired part-time at the church’s preschool while she continued to finish college.
Bella graduated with an Associate in Early Childhood Education and was hired on full-time teaching at the preschool level in Sacramento. This October will be 10 years since Bella has been working with children.
Bella is not originally from Sacramento. She grew up in Vacaville but always knew that Sacramento would be her home base for a couple of years. Bella aspires to return to school to teach at the elementary school level. She loves teaching and seeing how much the children grow by the end of the year.
Sandra was born in San Diego. She and her older sister always played school when they were younger and that passion of play and nurturing manifested itself into both of them becoming teachers. Sandra’s academic journey started in San Diego and led her to Sacramento State, where she has earned ECE units and is making progress towards her Bachelors degree.
Teaching kids is the spark that sets her heart on fire for life and her studies.
Love and creativity are her driving forces. When the opportunity allows, she immerses herself in photography, music, and hiking. Sandra is family oriented and her being one of the youngest in her family has developed her empathy. The impact of a kind word or gesture is so powerful that Sandra makes it her mission to include everyone in all activities and gives praise to encourage social development.
Ms. Monica was born and raised in Gilroy, California. She attended a small Catholic school from kindergarten through 8th grade and then went on to a public High School for four years. Ms. Monica is currently a freshman at Sacramento State, studying Health Science with an interest in pediatric nursing. Ms. Monica has always been passionate about caring for and teaching small children. This past summer she worked at a daycare in Gilroy before leaving for college. She developed such a strong bond with the teachers and students that she continues to get regular updates on the children and keeps in touch with the teachers and parents. In addition, she has babysat since she was able. A fun fact about Ms. Monica is that she was a competitive cheerleader in middle school and also cheered all four of her high school years. As a senior, she was happy to be chosen as one of the Varsity Captains. Miss. Monica also loves animals! One of the hardest parts of leaving for college was leaving her 5 dogs and 3 cats! She comes from a family of animal lovers. Miss. Monica cannot wait to get to know you and watch these wonderful children grow.
Ms. Jennifer is a Sacramento native, a mom of two elementary-age boys, and a teacher with 16+ years of classroom experience. Her passion is nurturing the resilience, self-confidence, and social-emotional skills of our local children through yoga and mindfulness practices. She holds two MA degrees, two California teaching credentials, and a 95-hour certification in trauma-informed yoga for children. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, ancestry research, reading, and cooking.
With a background in songwriting for children and music therapy, Jillian Van Ness of Grow Resilient Families brings her love and expertise to Creative Spaces every month in the form of interactive, live-music sessions. Children stomp their feet to the beat, blow a kiss to a friend, and use their rhythm sticks to “make soup,” while Ms. Jillian leads on guitar, djembe, harmonica, and foot tambourine. Families can enjoy Ms. Jillian’s original and inclusive children’s album, “Resilience Bells” at home or in the car via all streaming platforms, book a birthday party, or follow her on social media for even more access to music resources for 0-5 year olds in Sacramento.
Fancy Feet Dance Instruction
Fancy Feet Dance Instructors facilitate dance classes at Creative Spaces Preschool for each of our classrooms so that our students may express and grow through music and dance.
Fancy Feet instructors are all students of dance, of performance, and of life. Through this shared learning experience, the instructors strive to inspire our students. Living, learning, teaching, creating, and developing an appreciation for dance.
Fancy Feet instructors focus on not only dance skills but creative movement, original choreography, and dance as art and gently encourage your child’s self-esteem with the joy of dance.