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Home  Board of Directors > Kristy DeGraaf's Bio


Kristy DeGraaf 

Social Media 



  • Publicize the association, its goals, workshops, conferences, fundraisers, accomplishments and other community events. 

  • Make use of news releases and other forms of media.

  • Collaborate with other early childhood organizations. 

  • Maintain the online support group. 

  • Attend all board meetings, including annual retreat and training.

Kristy DeGraaf was born and raised in Utah and is the oldest of 5 children.  She graduated from Southern Utah University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  Shortly after graduation Kristy and her husband moved to Salt Lake City and went to work for the Division of Child and Family Services as a social service worker.  Kristy’s six years at DCFS taught her very important lessons and instilled in her a passion for making sure children were taken care of and loved.  During her time at DCFS she had two children and did the “working mom gig” for four years.  In 2007 Kristy and her family moved back to Cedar City when her husband was hired at SUU.  Later that year, feeling strongly that she and her family needed a change, she opened The Learning Tree Child Care and Preschool with one overriding goal:  to provide the highest quality of childcare available. 


      Over the past 9 years Kristy has improved her program and found a passion for Early Childhood Education.  In addition she has found a love for speaking and advocating for developmentally appropriate practices, policies, and programs, focusing on the need for a return to play based and child directed learning.  In 2014 Kristy received the Helene Marks National National Child Care Teacher of the Year Award from Children’s Tylenol and the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  In addition she has received many grants from the Office of Child Care and the Child Care Professional Development Institute, a Select 25 grant from Select Health, and most recently a mini grant from the Cedar City Arts Council to enrich outdoor music in her program.  Kristy is the newsletter editor for the Professional Family Child Care Association of Utah and a trainer for Care About Childcare.  She now has four amazing children and finds her greatest joy spending time with them and her wonderful husband.

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