Melissa Ysais

Professor, Child Development


I started my professional career in child care quite by accident. I had always worked with young children through community babysitting and church functions but when it was time for college, I focused on broadcasting. I attempted to find employment in the entertainment field but was drawn to a teacher’s aide position and the rest was history. Once I stepped into the classroom, I knew my academic focus had to change, so I quickly revised majors and began my endeavors to become a teacher.

I enjoyed the rewards of teaching and working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Along the way I also took an interest in administration, I had always had keen management skills and a gift for organizing and training. While pursuing my undergraduate degree at Pacific Oaks College, my goal was clear. It was to become a preschool director with the intent of creating quality programs that were developmentally appropriate, professionally focused, and family-friendly with learning opportunities for all. I successfully directed preschools for eleven years. All the programs were embodied with my vision of curriculum, policies, and management that held true to quality care and developmentally appropriate policies.

Similar to my earlier stumble into the teacher’s aide position, I fell into being a teacher’s aide at my alma mater, Pacific Oaks College. Once again, I found myself resetting my course to a new chapter, college professor. I re-entered school and earned a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from Azusa Pacific University.

I was an adjunct professor for over ten years, and I believe I use my vast experience to prepare students for the joy and commitment of the field of early childhood education.

Beyond my professional life, I am married to the man of my dreams although I was not the girl dreaming of her prince and the fantasy wedding. Steven and I have been a couple of happy, silly geeks who love to laugh and spend time together for twenty-five years. We communicate about everything and are very pragmatic. We support each other’s individual and collaborative goals.

After eight years of blissful togetherness, we hit the “time to decide about parenting” button. Initially, we had discussed physically having two biological children and adopting an older child. By the eighth year, we felt content with not being parents. We felt that we made a fabulous Aunt and Uncle to our fourteen nieces and nephews and to whomever else needed us in that capacity. I have also been afforded the opportunity to extend that Auntie side to many of the college students that have passed through (and sometimes their children too). Being the Auntie who is just there for you has given me more joy than I could have ever anticipated.

I am thrilled with the life I have lived and live even with the bumpy early years. I learned who I did not want to be when I was a young child and have worked not to repeat the sins of those adults. That childhood did help to create the strong-willed, independent, and caring person I am today. I am at peace and have forgiven those who were unable to love unconditionally. My heart is open and ready to fill it up with whoever needs me.

Lastly, I am one who does not take herself seriously but I do take the care and welfare of children fervently.

I am excited to be a part of the BC family.