The 2017 recipient of the 4C: Community Coordinated Child Care’s Friend of the Child Award is Diane Kubetz. In 1989, 4-C established the Friend of the Child Award to recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations that have truly made a difference in the lives of young children.
Kubetz has contributed to the early childhood education community by strengthening and celebrating the lives of countless children. Her exemplary dedication and extraordinary leadership in the field of Early Care and Education has spanned more than 35 years.
Her contributions to the field include the following professional positions beginning in 1978: early care head teacher, early care and education program director, professional trainer, and early care and education instructor and retired in 2014, for about 10 minutes, moving on to work as a substitute teacher in the DeKalb schools and accepting a position with the Kishwaukee Education Consortium for two years.
Kubetz has served on the 4-C Board of Directors for 20 years, always demonstrating a high level of intelligence and discernment concerning policies and procedures at the federal, state and local level that would impact families, children and providers.
The nominator states “she has spent her professional life in the service of children and families and is a great choice for this honor” and further notes that the recipient has positively touched the lives of thousands of university students, ensuring they understand the importance of best practices for young children. This champion of children was ahead of curve, understanding the need to teach diversity, anti-bias curriculum and inclusion to early care and education students, thus laying a solid foundation for further child care teachers to understand and embrace meaningful social justice issues.
Kubetz was very active in the Northern Illinois Association for The Education of Young Children and still attends national NAEYC conferences where she promotes children’s literature. A true community minded individual, she enthusiastically supports the DeKalb Education Foundation.
In closing her nominee wrote, “What I love about Diane is her continued passion and enthusiasm for this profession, even after retirement. She truly wants what is best for young children and families. Always with a bright smile and conviction, she advocates for what is best for children and families.”