Leadership Team

Nancy Walsh

Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-580-7925 ext. 2127

Nancy is the Executive Director of Educational Playcare. Nancy holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut’s School of Human Development and Family Studies.

Nancy has been working in the field of early childhood education since 2001 in various capacities such as a Regional Human Resource Manager and District Manager throughout the United States.

Nancy’s passion is making sure the right people are in the right place to support our mission of providing the highest quality care for our families and the best workplace environment possible for our employees.

When Nancy is not at work, she adores spending time with her large extended family and pretending she is on a cooking show in her own kitchen.


Carrie Ridel

Regional Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-580-7925 ext. 2128

Carrie is the Director of Quality Assurance and also a Regional Director for Educational Playcare. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education from Charter Oak State College and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Education. She holds a state of Connecticut Head Teacher certificate, is an approved educational consultant for the state of Connecticut, and a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Carrie has been working in the early childhood field since 1991. She has been with Educational Playcare since 2004 staring out as a teacher and eventually becoming Director of our Avon location in 2007. She was the Center Director for 8 years before becoming a Regional Director.

Drawing on all of this experience, Carrie now coaches our Directors to achieve the same level of success while providing the highest quality of care to the children in our centers.

In her free time, Carrie enjoys scrapbooking and spending time with her family. She particularly enjoys vacationing at Disney World.


Lucy Baker

Regional Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-580-7925 ext. 2117

Lucy Baker is Regional Director for Educational Playcare. She has been in the field of early learning since 1996. She studied early childhood education at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

Lucy believes that being a child’s first teacher is one of the most important, exciting, and rewarding jobs that one can have. She says, “Fostering a child’s development gives them that thirst for learning that will set them up for future success both in school and in life. Learning at this stage needs to be fun, nurturing, and done in a safe environment.” She is committed to insuring that all Educational Playcare centers provide the highest quality of care and education.

In her spare time, Lucy enjoys spending quality time her husband Keith and their two daughters, Allison and Jillian. They love to be outdoors, especially spending time at the shore.


Chelsea Johnston-Bernstein

Curriculum Director
Email: [email protected]

Chelsea is our Curriculum Director. She develops lesson plans, trains teachers, and offers on-site support at all our locations.

Previously, Chelsea was a Lead Teacher in both our toddler and preschool programs.

Chelsea worked as a preschool teacher while finishing her bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University. After finishing her degree in 2008, she went back to school to earn her Head Teacher’s Certificate from the State of Connecticut and joined our team in 2009. Chelsea is a proud member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

She and her husband live in Windsor with their children. In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys painting and spending time with her family.


Elizabeth Marek

Director of Core Values
Email: [email protected]

Elizabeth has been with Educational Playcare since 2000. She has been part of our management team for several years and has held positions including Center Director. Libby is our Director of Core Values and in this role, she ensures that everything we do as a company works toward meeting our goals of Wellness, Inspiration, Kindness, Community, and above all, Fun!

Libby holds a BS in art education as well as an Associate of Science Degree in graphic design. She also has a Childhood Development Associate Certificate. Prior to joining EPC, Libby taught at both the elementary and secondary levels.

Libby lives with her two children, Colby and Caroline, in New Hartford. Among other things, she loves to paint with watercolors, read, and do yard work. She has two cats, a turtle, a cockatiel, and a dog named Teddy Blue.

Jenna Minton

Regional Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-580-7925 ext. 2116

Jenna has been in the field of early childhood education since 2003 and started her career as an infant teacher. She has been an administrator in the field since 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stony Brook University and is a proud member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Jenna lives in Farmington with her husband, John, and two children. Her son, John, and daughter, Julianna, both attend Educational Playcare in West Hartford. She is originally from Long Island, New York and is a loyal fan of the New York Jets. When she is not at work, Jenna loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Jenna truly enjoys supporting our Directors in ensuring that we are providing a high-quality experience for the children, families, and teachers in our schools.


Michele Sinatra

Regional Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-580-7925

Michele has been in the field of early childhood education for more than ten years. She began her career as a preschool teacher and became a Center Director in 2008. She loves seeing all of the smiling faces of the children at each of the centers that she visits as Regional Director.

Michele holds a bachelor degree in child studies with a concentration in early childhood education. She also holds a Connecticut Director’s Credential and she is certified in infant/child CPR, first aid, medication administration and the use of epi-pens. Michele  also holds a  ServSafe Certification and a Head Teacher Certificate from the state of Connecticut. Michele is also a member of the NAEYC and CT Charts-a-Course.

Michele is a big advocate for cancer research. Her mother is a survivor of breast cancer and finding a cure is very important to her. She supports St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital and the Relay for Life campaign.

Michele is a mother of two children and has a very supportive husband. She is very proud of her son, Eric, who is serving in the United States Army. Michele is an active member of the Girl Scouts of America and is the leader of her daughter’s troop. In her free time, Michele enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.


Jennifer Stone

Health Consultant
Email: [email protected]

Jennifer Stone is the Health Consultant for Educational Playcare. She earned her associate’s degree in nursing and then went on to complete a Bachelor of General Studies Degree from the University of Connecticut. Jennifer has been a Registered Nurse since 1994.

As Health Consultant, a full-time position, Jennifer visits Educational Playcare centers on a weekly basis to provide support and assist in assuring that health-related paperwork and requirements set forth by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood meet the state requirements. She observes children and communicates with teachers regarding their health and development. Jennifer provides information regarding common childhood illnesses and teaches medication administration classes so that medication-certified staff may administer emergency medications as necessary.

Jennifer lives in Old Lyme with her husband and two children. She enjoys reading, photography, and spending time at her family’s summer home in Maine.


Jessica Skovron-Rasheed

Director, Arts/Enrichment and School Age Programs
Email: [email protected]

In addition to coordinating our Arts and Enrichment programs, Jessica is also our School Age Director and the Assistant Director of the Educational Playcare Summer Camp program. She holds a master’s degree in literacy from Hunter College. She also has a bachelor’s degree in dance (with a concentration in education) from William Smith College. Jessica has teaching certifications in elementary, special, and literacy education in Connecticut and New York.

Jessica joined Educational Playcare in 2011. She has a passion for working with all age groups and demonstrates her knowledge and interest through planning and implementing developmentally appropriate lessons and activities.

Jessica loves spending quality time with her family. She lives with her two sons, Kareum and Malcolm, who attend Educational Playcare, and her husband, A-men Rasheed, who is the Director of Theater at the Westminster School.