Child Care Spotlight: Angela Faye Lyshe-Thierry, Kids Are Special People Family Child Care

Daycare provider and children at table making fresh fruit sundaes.
Children at Kids Are Special People Family
Child Care enjoy a fresh fruit snack.

Little girl cutting strawberry
Preparing fruit for a yogurt sundae.

little girl making fresh fruit sundae
Building a fresh fruit & yogurt treat.

Center: 
Angela Faye Lyshe-Thierry has operated Kids Are Special People Family Child Care, a family child care home in Avondale, for 21 years. Her program has achieved Ohio’s 2-Star Step Up To Quality rating.

How Angela & Kids Are Special People THRIVE!:
  • WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution: Angela signed the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution in 2016. This shows her commitment to provide a healthful environment for the children in her care by following guidelines on physical activity, screen time, safe sleep practices, nutrition, and tobacco.
  • Ohio Healthy Programs Award: Kids Are Special People was awarded the Ohio Healthy Programs (OHP) designation in 2017. OHP is a statewide yearly recognition program for child care centers that commit to providing a healthier environment for the children they serve through written policies, menu enhancements, Step up to Quality trainings and family engagement. Angela also completed the 15-hour Healthy Children, Healthy Weights curriculum.
  • Two Bite Club: Angela says that one of her biggest challenges is getting the children to try new foods. She has found that reading The Two Bite Club, a book available for free from MyPlate.org, helps with this. Just like the book, she encourages the children to try at least two bites of a food at meals. “The kids love the book, and I have actually had great success with this ‘trick,’” Angela said. Every child gets to take a copy of the book home as well.
  • Seeing Success: Angela tells of a child who joined her program in 2016: “On the family information form, the favorite foods listed were French fries, chicken nuggets, and chips. Mom explained that the child does not like/will not eat vegetables at all and will only eat a couple of fruits. Today, the child LOVES veggies, raw and cooked, and also eats a wider variety of fruits.”
  • No Junk Food Policy: In the past, Angela would ask parents not to bring in unhealthy foods for holidays and birthdays, but they didn’t always comply. When she gave parents a copy of her written policy along with a list of acceptable foods, things improved. “I did receive a little feedback, parents saying there is nothing wrong with giving kids ‘this stuff’ on special occasions,” Angela said. “My response was, while it may be okay every now and then, I work hard to make good choices for the kids in my day care and have pledged to offer healthier food choices.”
Angela's Tips for Care Providers: 
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. Angela recommends focusing on one or two goals at a time. She found that the Child Care Action Planning Document helps her see how much progress she is making. “By using that as a visual to see my progress, and checking off completed goals, I felt happy and confident that I could achieve my goals and better my program,” she said.
  • Be flexible. “You will probably have to tweak some of your goals,” Angela said. “That doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job, it just means that you just need to re-think a goal to make it a better fit for your program.”
  • Kids WILL eat healthy foods. Some of their favorites are: broccoli, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, greens, cob corn, sweet potatoes; apples, Cuties, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, honeydew, cantaloupe, bananas; low-fat yogurt with fruit and/or cereal, no-bake oatmeal balls, celery & peanut butter, boiled eggs, whole wheat crackers, fruit or veggie wraps.

In Her Own Words: 
“I made the commitment to participate in WeTHRIVE! and OHP because of the importance of teaching and encouraging young children to live a healthy  lifestyle, and I felt that I needed some professional assistance in order to do that. Being raised by my grandparents, we didn’t focus much on any of these things and I was a member of the “clean plate” club. It is often a challenge to change from a not so healthy lifestyle, so I find it very important to start children on a healthy path at a very young age.” 

“Being a part of OHP has opened the doors for me to take a closer look at my program to see what improvements I can make to help children and families make better lifestyle choices. I’m by far no expert, but the information that I have received during the sessions has helped me communicate more effectively with families…”


Join Angela Faye Lyshe-Thierry in making a difference with WeTHRIVE! Click here to find out more about the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Initiative. Click here to join the movement. 


Get updates and information about WeTHRIVE!—Join the WeTHRIVE! Movement today! 
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July 28, 2017