First3Years Welcomes New Training Manager
In July, First3Years announced the addition of its newest staff member, Natalie Baerwaldt. As Training Manager, Natalie will oversee the professional development opportunities offered through First3Years for those working with infants, toddlers, and their families across the state.
Natalie brings more than 15 years of professional experience in early childhood to her new role, the last 10 of which were focused on child development with at-risk and drug endangered children. She is endorsed as a Level IV Infant Mental Health Mentor and is licensed in the state of Texas as a Childcare Director. Natalie has a master’s degree in Counseling, Development, and Higher Education from the University of North Texas, where she has taught as an adjunct professor. She is a master trainer for the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System, a certified statewide trainer for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, a certified trainer for Drug Endangered Children, and a certified statewide trainer for the Prevent Child Abuse Network.
She explains that joining First3Years provides a unique opportunity to expand her reach in the field of early childhood. “I was drawn to First3Years because babies and toddlers need the same things, whether they are at-risk or not. I want to promote high quality care and practices for all young children throughout the state,” said Natalie.
“I’ve partnered with First3Years over the years to help develop caregiver teams and the impact is growing. It’s exciting to be working with well-respected experts who are changing the scope of how we support infants and toddlers by supporting the professionals engaged in direct care for these children.”
In her first month with First3Years, Natalie has jumped right into training programs in progress, including the series of Home Visitor trainings being offered around the state this summer. She has also hosted three webinars on the topic of attunement and attachment and gave a keynote presentation at the Babies on the GO! Conference in El Paso, hosted by the Paso del Norte Association for the Education of Young Children.
When Natalie isn’t training caregivers across the state, she’s spending time with her husband and two daughters and training for her 7th marathon in Houston in January.