About Us

Our Vision

We provide meaningful employment where everyone is acknowledged and appreciated each day. We advocate for our children and offer high-quality early childhood education to the community. We are an influential role model to many children as we welcome, love, educate, and have fun with them and their families daily. We work in partnerships with families to ensure their children are supported. We strive to be the #1 choice for early childhood education!

  • ~We strive to live this vision each and everyday~
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Visit Us Today!

Stephanie Mahal

Stephanie Mahal

My name is Ms. Stephanie, and I currently serve as the acting President of the ownership group for Early Childhood Academy. With over 17 years of experience as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, my passion lies in nurturing the successful development of children to their full potential. Throughout more than a decade, I have spearheaded student support services within public school settings, prioritizing inclusive environments and employing evidence-based interventions, working alongside teachers and administrations to increase student success.
I earned my Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I reside in Northfield with my husband, two children, and our beloved Golden Doodle, Dunker. As an active and sports-oriented family, I find joy in being a dedicated “sports mom,” enthusiastically cheering for my kids whether they’re on the basketball court, football field, track, or golf course.

a woman with glasses smiling

Becca Najera

My name is Becca and I am the Director/Operations Manager of the New Prague Early Childhood Academy. I attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree. I have worked in this location since 2019. I enjoy my job because I am able to watch the children and the teachers learn and grow every day. I live in New Prague with my husband and our dog, Stella. I enjoy watching sports, reading, camping, and spending time with family.

Sarah Brown

My name is Sarah Brown, a resident of Belle Plaine, where I live with my wonderful husband and three energetic boys. Originally from the cities, I’ve called Belle Plaine home since I was 19. I’ve been immersed in the world of childcare since I was 18, driven by my passion for advocating for children who need a voice. When I’m not busy with work and family, you can find me indulging my love for travel, hitting the trails for some four-wheeling adventures, and exploring new places with my loved ones.

a woman with curly hair wearing a tan jacket and a gold necklace

Zulma Sanchez

My name is Zulma Sanchez and I reside in Red Wing with my husband and daughter. I’m a dedicated professional with a deep passion for Early Childhood Education. My commitment and expertise led me to pursue a career in this field at Hennepin Technical College,  I started as an Aide in 2008; my unwavering dedication over the years to continuous learning and professional advancement has led me ultimately to my  role as a Director. Beyond my professional endeavors, I also bring a wealth of experience from supporting my family business. This background has equipped me with invaluable skills in management, communication, and problem-solving, which are seamlessly integrated into my role.