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By Olivia Boler
Childcare providers are often unsung heroes, but recently, Noe Valley's own Julia Ready received some props for her good work. Ready was among nine childcare providers honored at the Sacramento State Capitol at the fourth annual Childcare Provider of the Year ceremony in April. Ready runs Growing Up, a family childcare home in Noe Valley, and she's licensed to watch up to six children.
Before going into this line of work, she was the manager at Star Magic, a popular shop on 24th Street. The birth of her son Julian in 1989 sparked her interest in child development. Growing Up is a yearlong program for 2-year-olds, and Ready's goal is to help them transition into preschool. She says caring for a child during his toddler years is engaging and challenging, but mostly very rewarding. Ready also mentors youth and future care providers.
At the ceremony in Sacramento, public broadcasting stations KVIE (Sacramento) and KCET (Los Angeles), as well as members of the state legislature, recognized Ready for her commitment to providing quality childcare. She was also lauded for the role she plays in raising preschool-age children, as well as preparing them for kindergarten. Ready also has been featured as a Childcare Provider of the Week on the award-winning PBS talk-show series A Place of Our Own and its Spanish-language counterpart, Los Niņos en Su Casa. "Working with two-year-olds is a great passion for me," Ready says. "Some people call it the terrible two's, but I like to call it terrific two's."