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Frances Whalen is the primary caregiver here at Redbud. She was born and raised in a small, rural town in Southeast Oklahoma, to which she partially credits her love and dedication towards slow, simple living.She earned a bachelor’s degree in Botany from the University of Oklahoma, focusing her studies on the interactions between ecology and agriculture.

After graduating, she found herself being inspired by the joy of children, and soon began working as a nanny for young children. She loved every minute of it! When she learned of Lifeways North America, she found a deep resonance with its guiding principles and wanted to become part of the movement to elevate the state of daycare in the US. She became a certified LifeWays caregiver shortly thereafter. Her heart was warmed by how brilliantly children thrived when these conditions were met:

  • Children were allowed to play for most of the day.
  • Caregivers were warm and loving.
  • The environment was home-like and inviting.

After teaching at Rose Rock School for three years, she became inspired to continue her work as a LifeWays caregiver in her own home. She now shares that home with her husband, two dogs, and two chickens. Having been inclined towards homemaking from a young age, she finds joy in knitting, gardening, animal husbandry and photography. She feels very blessed to have the opportunity to spend her days amidst the happy hum of children working and playing, and is eager to meet each new child who comes her way. She continues to further her professional development through reading, workshops, and child development classes.

You can contact her at frances@redbudplayschool.com.