It’s not every career where an employee transforms children’s lives. And not every workplace feels like a home.
Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, in Keene, N.H., promotes a one-of-a-kind environment that prioritizes children.
Helping children enjoy their best lives
The mission is to help the children with disabilities live their best lives with the use of technology and programs aimed at physical and cognitive development. The staff takes the children on field trips, such as going to a baseball game. Closer to home, the employees and children explore nature at Cedarcrest.
Employees experience fulfillment as the children develop and meet their goals. Employees on the administrative, medical and teaching sides of the center join forces to transform lives.
“The children all have personal goals that they are working towards, and the staff helps them make progress as best as they are able. I enjoy the striving aspect and admire the persistence everyone demonstrates. It’s a rewarding experience working at Cedarcrest, on many levels. There are opportunities to have fun while working, too,” said Patty Farmer, director of development and communications.
“I love working at Cedarcrest. The work I do is challenging, but satisfying. I feel like I contribute to the overall well-being of the children, even though I don’t provide care for them directly. The staff are highly committed to ensuring that the kids have fun and are given all kinds of great opportunities,” said Farmer.
On 5 acres, Cedarcrest provides a comfortable environment for the children and the employees, said Director of Human Resources Erin Dallas-Patch.
“Cedarcrest is unlike anywhere else you can work; for many staff, it is like a home.”
It takes a special individual to succeed at Cedarcrest. According to Dallas-Patch, “An ideal employee is patient, competent, loves children and wants to see the children succeed.”
Growth and development
For aspiring individuals, Cedarcrest provides educational and training opportunities that lead an employee to develop and grow with the center.
“We’ve had many staff who started here as child care assistants, then became LNA, and then LPN/RNs. Our current director of nursing began here as an LNA/RN/nurse manager,” said Dallas-Patch.
Cedarcrest attracts high school and college students, as well as professionals who have stayed five to 20 years.
Mary Hatch, teacher and licensed nursing assistant, developed her career at Cedarcrest.
“Cedarcrest fosters a unique, warm and positive work environment and work culture. Everyone who works here is driven by the same desire to do what’s best for the children that live here. ... The staff members become more than just co-workers. They become people with whom you develop a deep respect for. People you can look up to, and people you can trust.”
And as further encouragement, field trips provide enjoyment for the children and the staff.
“Watching a child’s face light up as they hold a baby goat for the first time, or listening to their shrills of delight as they swim in the pool is the most rewarding feeling,” said Hatch.
Cedarcrest has part-time positions with perks — a daily meal, tuition reimbursement, a wellness program, staff development and a retirement plan.
Full-time employees enjoy all of the above plus medical, dental, life insurance and a benefits package.
Cedarcrest is hiring a full-time licensed nurse assistant, a part-time respiratory therapist, a part-time feeding technician and part-time child care assistants. Go to cedarcrest4kids.org. Click on Careers and apply online.