Remembering Patricia Pead

A group of people pose for a picture. They are holding children's books.

Champions for Children mourns the loss of Patricia Pead (1951-2024), a beacon of hope and guidance in the Tampa Bay community and cherished member of our Champions for Children family. Patricia served as the Baby Bungalow Program Director with unparalleled dedication and grace.

As the Baby Bungalow Program Director for 17 years, Patricia’s unwavering commitment and innovative leadership enriched the lives of countless families. Her legacy at Baby Bungalow is evident in the strong foundation she built, which continues to support and educate families, ensuring that her passion for child development and family wellness lives on. Patricia’s impact at Baby Bungalow was profound and far-reaching. Her approach to early childhood education was revolutionary, creating a nurturing environment where both children and parents could grow and learn together. Under her guidance, Baby Bungalow became more than just a program; it evolved into a community cornerstone that supported family development and parental engagement.

Patricia understood that learning happens not only through instruction but also through play, exploration, and social interaction. This philosophy helped shape Baby Bungalow into a place where families could connect, share experiences, and support each other in their parenting journeys.

Patricia’s dedication to excellence in early childhood education has left an indelible mark on the program and all those who had the privilege of working with her. Her influence will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Amy Haile, Champions for Children’s Chief Executive Officer fondly reflects on the deep impact Patrcia made on her own parenting relationship.

“One of my most vivid memories of Patricia is from when I first joined Champions for Children. I was anxious about my daughter entering her teenage years, bracing myself for the challenges of adolescence. Patricia, in her calm and thoughtful manner, gently took my hand, made direct eye contact, and said, ‘Amy, I have seen you with your daughter. You share a loving, rich, and fun relationship. Why do you think that will change when she turns 15?’ That simple yet profound moment with Patricia shifted my perspective on parenting. Her wisdom and reassurance helped me build some of my most cherished memories with my daughter during those teenage years.

Thank you, Patricia, for your guidance and unwavering support, not just for my family, but for the thousands of families who have been strengthened by your kindness and insight. You will be deeply missed.”

With a degree in early childhood education, Patricia joined Champions for Children (then called the Child Abuse Council) in 2000 as a parent educator, quickly receiving her certification as a Parents as Teachers educator. At the same time, the organization was piloting a new program focused on parent-child education in playgroup settings. Seeking a highly detail-oriented individual with a strong childcare background, the organization leadership tapped Patricia to serve as the program’s first director.

Opening its doors on March 31, 2000, Baby Bungalow received its first call the next day. Under Patricia’s leadership, the program grew exponentially.

One of Patricia’s key strategies at Baby Bungalow was to hire “veteran” parents who had thrived in prior playgroups to lead new ones. Her strategy helped to build a sense of community and camaraderie among the playgroup participants and leaders. The structure empowered parents to become child development experts in their own homes.

Alex Curtis Boyer was a former parent participant and, in 2017, had this to say about Patricia.

“Underneath her sweet exterior is a woman of extreme intelligence, thoughtfulness, determination, and vision. Watching over the years, I’ve seen the things near and dear to her heart come to fruition. Patricia has left the community a great legacy and planted little seeds in all of us who have worked with her: to put children first, honor the parents, and go out and make the world a better place – for real!”

Today, Baby Bungalow serves more than …. children, parents, and supportive adults.

Patricia’s influence on parent education expanded beyond Baby Bungalow. In 2012, she played a key role in bringing Brazelton Touchpoints training to Champions for Children. The Touchpoints model, which is trained to all staff at the organization, is based on respect for each individual parent and focuses on guiding caregivers to make good decisions in parenting by helping them come to positive conclusions themselves.

Also in 2012, Patricia proved instrumental in the development of Layla’s House, a center, based on the Baby Bungalow model, located in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood. Now in its 12th year, Layla’s House serves hundreds of children, parents, and supportive adults from Sulphur Springs and surrounding neighborhoods.

Thank you, Patricia, for your remarkable contribution to Baby Bungalow and the countless lives you’ve touched.

Patricia’s colleagues continue to say that her wisdom touched hearts and her example shaped lives.

Her impact extended to the development of Layla’s House and the integration of the Brazelton Touchpoints model at Champions for Children, empowering parents and caregivers with respect and self-guidance.

Her absence leaves a void, but her spirit continues to inspire. Patricia Pead will be profoundly missed, yet her influence will resonate for generations.

A Memorial Service for Patricia is scheduled for May 24th at 2pm at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. In honor of Patricia’s love for colors and flowers, her family requests that attendees wear colorful attire.

For more details, please visit Patricia Pead’s obituary here.