Carol Thompson isn't crying because it's over, she's smiling because it happened.
Q: What jobs did you have prior to joining the Child Care Links team?
A: For many years, I worked at the Alameda County Welfare Department doing eligibility work. I also worked for the Alameda County Probation Department, Juvenile Hall, as a stenographer.
Q: What positions did you hold during your time at Child Care Links?
A: I started as an Eligibility Intake Clerk and Program Assistant. I then became the Office Manager and Eligibility Counselor, later adding a supervisory role for the Alternative Payment Program. The last 17 years, I was honored to serve as the Executive Director.
Q: What has changed at Child Care Links over the years?
A: One of the biggest changes I have seen is the increased confidence levels of the families who have moved through the subsidy program. As they begin to go to school, obtain degrees, and secure good jobs, their confidence levels rise, as they achieve self-sufficiency.
I have also enjoyed watching the staff grow and change, working with and challenging them to be the best they can be. We have a very talented and supportive staff who are committed to the field and the mission. I am only as good as my staff is, I couldn't do it without them.
Q: What hasn't changed since you started at Child Care Links?
A: The bureaucracy and the paperwork! Also, the joy we get helping each child and family, and being able to see them thrive.
Q: What are you most proud of during your time at Child Care Links?
A: I have loved every day I've been here. I'm most proud of the relationships that have lasted 36 years built on respect and trust. In 36 years, I can honestly say this work has been one of the greatest loves of my life.
I feel as though I have made a difference in the lives of children and their families. I believe my work allowed me to be a positive role model for my own children.
Q: What are you looking forward to in retirement?
A: I am looking forward to living life to the fullest. I plan to spend more time with my grandkids, helping them with their education. I am looking forward to doing more volunteer work, crafting and working on sewing projects.
We asked employees to weigh in on what stands out the most about Carol and this is what they had to say.
"Carol has always made it a point to try and get to know each employee individually. She consistently does special/thoughtful things for staff which has made for a very caring environment at Child Care Links."
"Carol has a way of genuinely connecting to the entire staff. She has a leadership style that breeds respect and commitment. Her generous spirit is contagious."