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Barbara Merrill is a Consultant with the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center, supporting issues of early childhood educator compensation, education, and retention. She earned her B.S. in Child Development at the University of Maine and her M.S. in Adult Education/Training at Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa. In the early years of her career, she held positions as a preschool teacher, family child care provider, child care center director, Head Start teacher, home visitor, and community college instructor. She eventually moved to state-level work as a CCR&R training coordinator and was invited to become the first director for Iowa’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Program.
In 2007, T.E.A.C.H. became a program of Iowa AEYC; Barb continued to lead T.E.A.C.H. and also took on the role of executive director of Iowa AEYC, a position she held until 2017. During her tenure, she helped move Iowa AEYC from a small nonprofit to a respected leadership organization with a $3 million annual budget, a staff of 20, and an increasingly strong governing board. Barb’s main area of expertise and passion has been workforce professional development. She has been honored to lead several state initiatives and speak at national conferences, and she was appointed to the Early Childhood Iowa State Board in 2018. She and her husband enjoy time in Iowa and in Maine with their six grandchildren.