To her kiddos at the Eagles Nest Daycare at Marion Elementary, she’s simply Ms. Autumn.
And while part of her job is changing diapers, and taking care of lunches and naps, her favorite part is the kids themselves.
Watching their personalities grow, nurturing them to use their words and their creativity. Watching and helping them share, and interact, and learn new things every day.
A 2014 Manton graduate, Ms. Autumn made her way into childhood education after realizing that kids tended to cling to her. It was an epiphany of sorts. And it was a natural fit.
After stints at Little Blessings Daycare and Busy Bees, she’s excited to watch the Eagles Nest grow and be a big part of her kiddos lives.
Outside of work, it’s a kiddo of her own that keeps her busy, her 8-month-old son Franklin. And as excited as she is for her kids at the daycare, there’s no one who can fill her heart quite like Franklin.
We caught up with Ms. Autumn recently where we learned a little bit about her life, and her time at the Eagles Nest. We learned that Autumn Minzey is certainly more than just another face in the crowd.
Marion Press: Where were you born and raised? What kept you busy growing up?
Autumn: I was born in Cadillac, and I was raised in Manton. I played sports: I played anything from softball to basketball to volleyball; I did track, I did wrestling… I was into a lot of sports. I graduated in 2014.
MP: When did you first realize that you wanted to work with kids?
Autumn: I actually had an epiphany, if you want to call it that… I was at a sledding party – one of my aunts was hosting it – and I had a kid come up to me, and just clung. I found out that this kid was in the foster system, and the foster parents came up to me and said, “We’ve never seen them do this before. It’s really cool to see this with someone other than us or grandma.”
It was a big slap in the face, like yeah, kids are my calling.
MP: Tell us about your career in early childhood education, where did you work before the Eagles Nest?
Autumn: I worked for my cousin at Little Blessings Daycare and Preschool – that’s where I originally started working for daycares. I moved to Falmouth, worked for Busy Bees, and then I ended up in Marion. In July, it will be a year at the Eagles Nest.
MP: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Autumn: The kids, honestly. I love all their personalities, even the little ones – they have such sass. You never know what you’re going to get on any given day.
MP: Tell us a little bit about the Eagles Nest, and your job there. It sounds like it’s growing.
Autumn: Yep, we’ve hired a couple more employees, and as we get more people in, we’ll be able to add more kiddos.
For me, I do infants and toddlers, and that’s anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 years of age. [Eagles Nest Director] Lindsay takes anyone from 3 years of age up to 12 years old.
MP: What’s the key to being a good daycare provider?
Autumn: It’s to have patience. Patience, and understanding. You almost have to learn the kids, and understand how they adapt to different situations too.
MP: Outside of work, what keeps you busy?
Autumn: My son, he’s a handful. Franklin. He’s almost 8 months.
MP: Probably starting to develop a little personality…
Autumn: Oh, no, no, no. He developed a personality at 5 months! Right now, he’s figured out how to sit up on his own, climbing up to everything and wanting to stand. We’re in the climbing stage. My life is basically my son, and the daycare!
MP: What do you enjoy the most about living in the Falmouth community?
Autumn: My neighbors. My neighbors are super friendly, and they’re just awesome. For the most part, everybody knows everybody.
MP: Who have been your role models over the years?
Autumn: My mom, Char, is one of my major role models. And also my Aunt Carie. My mom is my biggest role model, she’s taught me everything I’ve needed to know, without sugar coating anything. She always gives it to me straight. My Aunt Carie, she’s always there to have fun, but she’s also worked hard. That’s the one thing that she’s drilled into our heads. It’s okay to have fun, but you’ve got to work hard in order to go have fun.
MP: What’s the best advice that you’ve ever been given?
Autumn: I was told once, before my husband and I got married and said our vows: “Our rings are not a tether. They are there for your bonds. You can go off and do what you need to do by yourself, but it always comes back to communication. Communicating with one another – that’s the biggest advice I’ve ever gotten.