PC Tots welcomes a new executive director | ParkRecord.com

PC Tots welcomes a new executive director

Sue Banerjee’s goal is for the nonprofit to be a partner with the community

For information about PC Tots, visit pctots.org. For information about volunteering for PC Tots, email Executive Director Sue Banerjee sbanerjee@pctots.org or Program Director, Melissa Mendez, at mmendez@pctots.org
Sue Banerjee is the new executive director for PC Tots, a nonprofit that provides high-quality, affordable, safe early education and child care for the workforce of Park City and greater Summit County. Banerjee was selected for the position after former executive director Andrea Barnes retired at the end of January.
Courtesy of Sue Banerjee

PC Tots is a nonprofit that provides high-quality, affordable, safe early education and child care for the workforce of Park City and greater Summit County, and Sue Banerjee is excited to be its new executive director.

“I’m super excited to be here at PC Tots,” she said. “This is an amazing organization that does a lot of good for our community here.” 

Banerjee stepped into her new position after longtime Executive Director Andrea Barnes retired at the end of January. 

“Andrea provided invaluable leadership to our organization,” said Deb Danson, president of the PC Tots board. “We look forward to continuing to implement our mission under Sue’s direction.” 

The issue is how do we support families who want to work but can’t because accessible childcare isn’t available…” Sue Banerjee, PC Tots executive director

As PC Tots executive director, Banerjee will work to provide strategic and operational leadership of the nonprofit’s mission while keeping true to its core values of social equity, educational opportunity, safety and diversity. 

Banerjee’s past careers have helped shape her for the PC Tots role.

She served as an attorney in Washington, D.C., and was involved in civil rights litigation, and other social issues.

“This has always been something I cared deeply about,” she said.

Banerjee also worked at a legal technology start-up.

“While there, I was involved in skill-based projects like fundraising and client development, which are applicable to what I’m doing now,” she said.

Banerjee and her family moved to Park City from Washington, just as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

“COVID was a big epiphany for me,” she said. “I’m a mom, and I have two kids, but we were in a fortunate space where we could pivot, and work from home to get our kids through the tough situation of their schools being closed. But the disparity for other people who didn’t have that opportunity became apparent to me.”

Banerjee has always been motivated to support women and children.

“If you can help children, you can help mothers, and moms can flourish when they know their children are in a safe environment,” she said. “With that realization I felt I had to be more focused on what I could do for my community to help women and children. I wanted to educate myself.”

For starters, Banerjee became a substitute teacher for the Park City School District.

“I was particularly interested in kindergarten, so I could get a sense of where kids were when it came to school readiness,” she said. 

Banerjee also volunteered for the Park City Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides resources for educators and schools that help them maneuver through the ever-changing world of academia.

During that time, she served as the Parleys Park ambassador, and as a grant committee member of the Women’s Giving Fund, an endowment created by the Park City Community Foundation that generates grants to address urgent issues for women and children. 

“I also got involved with the PC Tots board, so I could volunteer my time and learn more,” she said. “So it was a great confluence of timing and interest when the executive director position opened up. I felt like I was ready.” 

Park City Library’s Katrina Kmak volunteers at PC Tots, a local childcare nonprofit. Executive Director Sue Banerjee says the organization always welcomes volunteers.
Courtesy of PC Tots

Banerjee was initially drawn to PC Tots because of its ethos and the ethos of other Park City-based nonprofits.

“I think Park City, at large, has an amazing nonprofit community that really is involved in the lives of our working families, and I find that engagement very special,” she said. 

Banerjee also likes the PC Tots’ emphasis on its programs.

“We have an amazing program director, Melissa Mendez, and she works hard to implement a curriculum based on scientific research,” she said. “The curriculum is fully intended to get these kiddos ready for kindergarten, and it also has a strong component of social and emotional development. So when the kiddos get to kindergarten they already know how to share and how to take turns.”

One of the things that concerns Banerjee is the PC Tots waitlist.

“We have between 170 to 180 kids, and that’s insane,” she said. “Some of those children’s parents are probably not able to work as much as they want to work. The issue is how do we support families who want to work but can’t because accessible childcare isn’t available to them.”

Banerjee feels this is an issue PC Tots needs to discuss more deeply with the community.

“If you invest in little kids, you not only help the kids,” she said. “You help the kids’ moms. You help the kids’ families. It’s like this beautiful flower blooming.”

The community can also help PC Tots fulfill its mission through volunteering, Banerjee said.

“Volunteers are wonderful,” she said. “Having people come in and read to a 4-year-old or rock a 6-month-old to sleep are wonderful things people can do. And if someone wants to volunteer, they can reach out to me.”

(See information in the accompanying box).

Donations are also a great way for the community to support PC Tots.

“Fifty percent of our budget comes from tuition and what parents pay, and the other 50% we have to develop, which is through fundraising,” she said.

Fundraising is more important than ever for PC Tots this year, Banerjee said.

“During the pandemic, the federal government granted money to licensed childcare providers, and we’re going to lose those funds, which was more than $600,000,” she said. “So donations are a great way for people to support us.”

Banerjee’s overall goal as executive director is to get the public to see PC Tots as a partner with the community.

“We have amazing local businesses, and the employees have families,” she said. “If an employee can’t go to work because their childcare has fallen through, that affects these businesses. So if we can provide families with affordable and safe places where they know their children are thriving, the employees can work as much as they want, and I think it supports the community.”

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