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Our Team

Executive Office

Florence Barbour

Dr. Florence Prophete-Barbour

Executive Director

Florence Prophete-Barbour, Ed.D, was appointed to the position of Executive Director of Harbor Child Care in June 2021. In this role, Mrs. Barbour is the chief executive officer overseeing five centers, a staff of 300, approximately 1,000 students, and a budget of over $11M annually. Previously, Mrs. Barbour was the Senior Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development for Harbor Child Care, Inc. Before this position, she was the center director of Harbor Child Care at RXR Plaza in Uniondale for eight years. She began her journey in early childhood education, interestingly enough when she was a psychologist serving adults with developmental disabilities. In her work, she continued to gravitate to educating children, especially our youngest learners. With that in mind, she earned a license in School Supervision and Administration (now called School Building Leader) and worked as the director of an early childhood program providing services for children with developmental delays. For over 30 years, she has devoted herself to the care and education of young children.

Nick Katos

Nick Katos

Senior Director/Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Nick Katos is Senior Director/CFO of Harbor Child Care. Nick has been with Harbor since September 2010. He has a strong background in accounting, finance, and business management. Nick has a resume dating 35 years which includes financial roles with the Walt Disney Company and with Sony Music.

Nick holds his Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University and manages all company financials. He has a staff of business managers who are responsible for their respective Harbor Child Care centers. Any questions that cannot be answered by the business managers will be forwarded to Nick. Along with his financial role, Nick is also very much involved with operations, information technology, and program solutions.

Marilyn Rodriguez

Marilyn Rodriguez

Director of Human Resources

Marilyn Rodriguez has been working at Harbor Child Care since March 2010. She became the Director of Human Resources in September 2018. Her current responsibilities include overseeing employee benefits, recruitment, employee relations, and performance management.

Marilyn has worked in three Harbor Child Care locations starting as a teacher before moving into administration in November 2012. She possesses vast classroom experience, having worked with children from birth to 15 years of age.

Marilyn has a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and is working towards a Master of Science degree in Bilingual Childhood Special Education in Inclusive Settings.

Jagruti Patel

Jagruti Patel

Senior Director of Business

Jagruti Patel is lovingly known as JJ around Harbor Child Care. Jagruti is the Senior Director of Business and has been working with Harbor Child Care since February 2011. She first started working in the human resources office on a part-time basis, along with helping at all centers when needed, before moving permanently to the business office to work full time with Nick Katos, Harbor’s Senior Director/CFO. Together, Nick and JJ handle payroll, billing, vendors, payments, and other financial-related work.

Jagruti has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from India and a Master’s degree in Business Management. Her career was mainly in information technology for over 10 years before giving it all up to raise her daughter. Upon her return to the world of business, Jagruti was fortunate enough to have found employment with Harbor Child Care and considers it to be “her home away from home.”

Michele Russell

Michele Russell

Director of School-Age & Summer Camp Programs

Michele Russell has been working at Harbor Child Care since October 2002. She is the Director of the School Age Program for all Harbor centers. Michele plans all activities for our before and after school programs and summer camp programs. She assists with the management of the Harbor Child Care Facebook page by keeping it current with pictures and event information. Michele works closely with the Center Directors to ensure a safe, healthy, and happy learning environment for all school-age children.

Brendan Huggins

Brendan Huggins

Coordinator of Food Services

Brendan Huggins was appointed to the position of Coordinator of Food Services in September 2018. Before working in food services Brendan was the school-age coordinator since 2012 in which he helped to oversee the school-age and summer camp programs.

As the Coordinator of Food Services Brendan makes sure that Harbor is compliant with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines, prepares monthly menus filled with healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals, and oversees kitchen staff for 3 Harbor Child Care centers. Brendan has an Associate’s degree in Communications from New York Institute of Technology and enjoys working with children.

Glen Cove

Erica Giddens

Erica Giddens

Center Director

Erica Giddens is the Center Director of Harbor Child Care in Glen Cove. Erica ensures that all the daily operations of the Center run smoothly and efficiently for children, families and staff. She strives to provide the children with a safe, healthy, loving environment to learn and grow. Erica holds 17 years of experience in the early childhood education field and is very passionate about the development of the children.

Herricks - New Hyde Park

Smita Daniel

Smita Daniel

Center Director

Smita Daniel is the Center Director of Harbor Child Care in New Hyde Park at the Herricks Community Center. Her main responsibility is to ensure that each child is given the best possible care in terms of being treated with respect and love, and helped to fully develop. Smita also oversees the staff and Center, and maintains positive relationships with families.

Prior to becoming the Center’s Director, Smita’s journey at Harbor began with positions as a substitute teacher, a part-time assistant teacher, a head teacher and then in administration as an assistant center director. Smita has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and also in Early Education (General Education and Special Education).

Colleen Sierra

Colleen Sierra

Assistant Center Director

Colleen Sierra is the Assistant Center Director for the infant-toddler programs for the Harbor Child Care Herricks-New Hyde Park Center. She first started in March 1998 as an assistant in the toddler module and has held various roles within the organization.

Colleen brings over 2 decades of experience to the position. Her main focus has always been ensuring the quality of care for every child including bringing her passion and creativity into the classroom. Colleen attended SUNY Farmingdale and Queens College. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Tina Wetterauer

Assistant Center Director

Tina Wetterauer is the assistant center director for the PreK program at Harbor Childcare Herricks-New Hyde Park center. Tina brings over 25 years of experience to the position, working with all age groups. Tina holds an Associates degree in Early Education from UMASS Amherst as well as an administrative credential in education. Tina is continuing her education in early education at SUNY Empire.

Manhasset at North Shore University Hospital - Northwell Health

Kristen Beckmann

Kristen Beckmann

Center Director

Kristen Beckmann is the Center Director of Harbor Child Care’s Manhasset Center at Northwell Health. Kristen has been employed with Harbor Child Care since September 2009. She started as an assistant teacher prior to moving into administration and becoming Center Director. Her current responsibilities are to oversee the infant and toddler program and to ensure the best possible care and development in our program.

Kristen attended Nassau Community College and Briarcliff College. She holds a Child Development Associates credential in Early Childhood. Kristen is in the process of completing her degree in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Empire State College.

RXR Plaza - Uniondale

Anniina Macaluso

Anniina Macaluso

Center Director

Anniina Macaluso is the Center Director of Harbor Child Care at RXR Plaza in Uniondale. She has been with Harbor Child Care since February 2008 and has been working in the early childhood field since September 2002. Anniina has worked with children of all ages before becoming an administrator. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood at SUNY Empire State College.

As the Center Director, Anniina’s goal is to ensure a healthy, safe, and fun atmosphere where children and families enjoy the support from teachers that foster and promote a life time of learning in an educationally rich environment.

Staff at Harbor Child Care

Meagan Wilson

Assistant Center Director

Meagan Wilson is the Assistant Center Director of Harbor Child Care at RXR Plaza in Uniondale. She has been working as a childcare provider for over 10 years. As an Assistant Director, her mission is to provide quality care that meets the goals of parents and the needs of their children. 

 

Meagan joined Harbor Child Care in 2019. Prior to coming to Harbor, Meagan worked with children with special needs for 8+ years. As a mother of 3 children it is extremely important to Meagan that each child is allowed an equal opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment.

 

Meagan is currently in the process of obtaining her Associates Degree at Nassau Community College and plans to continue her education in pursuit of her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Special Education: Birth-2nd grade. She also has a Child Development Associates credential in Early Childhood.

Willis Avenue - Mineola

Lisa Virzera

Lisa Virzera

Center Director

Lisa Virzera joined Harbor Child Care in 2009 and was promoted to Center Director of the Harbor Child Care Willis Avenue/Mineola Center in May 2017. She started with Harbor Child Care as a head toddler teacher, and was promoted to administration in 2013.

With her understanding of child development Lisa is responsible for 22 classrooms at the Willis Avenue/Mineola Center. Her responsibilities include but are not limited to ensuring full student enrollment for the infants, toddlers, and the preschool classrooms, as well as making sure that the program adheres to state standards and regulations. Lisa uses her past years of experience to continually grow in her position as well as further enhance the growth of the Willis Avenue/Mineola Center.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Old Westbury, and a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Queens College.

Alicia Harnandan

Alicia Harnandan

Assistant Center Director

Alicia Harnandan joined Harbor Child Care in January 2017 as the Assistant Center Director and coordinator of the preschool and universal preschool (UPK) programs for the Willis Avenue/Mineola Center. In her current position, Alicia works closely with the Center Director to help ensure the smooth operation of the Center’s daily experiences with staff, children and families.

Alicia began teaching in 2009. Prior to coming to Harbor, Alicia worked as an assistant teacher and then became a head teacher in preschool classrooms. Alicia also has experience working as a special education preschool teacher.

Alicia has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education Birth-2nd from Touro College. She also graduated from Queens College and has an undergraduate degree in Child Development and Sociology.

Mary Maione

Mary Maione

Assistant Center Director

Mary Maione is the Assistant Center Director of infant and toddler programs for the Harbor Child Care Willis Avenue/Mineola Center. Mary has worked at this location since November 2013. Mary started in the toddler classrooms, and prior to moving into administration was the head teacher of an infant classroom.

In her current position Mary works closely with the Center Director in maintaining the daily operation of a safe learning environment for infants and toddlers. As a mom of two boys it is extremely important to Mary that the children who attend Willis get the most from their experiences while being cared for at the Center.

Mary attended Nassau Community College where she received her Teacher Assistant certification. She also has a Child Development Associates credential in Early Childhood Education. Mary writes, “Here, we are the stepping stones to every child’s bright future that lies ahead of them”.

Ami Parikh

Ami Parikh

Business Manager

Ami Parikh is the Business Manager for the Harbor Child Care Willis Avenue/Mineola Center. Prior to taking a break from the corporate world to raise her two sons, Ami worked at Deutsche Bank for almost 8 years.

Ami has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Pace University. She joined Harbor as an assistant teacher in October 2016 and is delighted to have had this opportunity to use her experience and education to assist all the children’s families at Willis in her current position.

 
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