About Us


Little Learners Team

Little Learners was developed out of the need for a high quality child care center that caters to working families, with a year round program and flexible enrollment schedules. We recognize that the families and children we serve, are our core strength and we aim to bridge the gap between the center and home. We believe in hiring highly qualified teachers to facilitate our enriching program in meeting the needs of our children and families.

Owner/Director/Founder: Shannon Dawson

Shannon holds a Bachelor's degree in Child Development from Humboldt State University. Shannon is the founder of Little Learners. She has worked in a toddler, preschool, and school age programs. She has been working with children for the past 15 years. Shannon was the former 2008 Economic Fuel competition winner and opened Little Learners Preschool in 2008. Shannon has three children of her, Brittany age 16, Hailey age 15 and Gavin age 2. Shannon understands the needs for high quality childcare programs in Humboldt County and enjoys supporting families in our community. Shannon enjoys being a part of the community and is involved in many local organizations. When Shannon isn't at work, she can be found at local children sporting events with her children or volunteering her time on local boards. Shannon loves supporting children’s growth and development. Shannon loves spending her time at Little Learners!

Director at the 11th & M Site - Sara Dahl

Sara has her certificate in Early Childhood Development from College of the Redwoods. Sara has been part of the Little Learner's Team since 2013 when she worked at the Guintoli site. Sara then transferred to the 11th and M in 2014 where she been ever since. Sara primarily works in our preschool classroom where she is always teaching the kids new songs and games. Sara is passionate about working with children and the families in our community. When Sara is in the classroom, she loves to teach while having fun and being silly. When Sara isn't at Little Learners, she enjoys shopping, camping, and road trips with her husband. She also likes cuddling with her two cats Pumpkin and Penny.


Director at Eureka - Krystal Arnot

Krystal holds a bachelors degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She also has her associates degree from College of the Redwoods in Early Childhood Education. Krystal began working at Little Learners in May 2013 in the Toddler Room. Krystal is passionate about working with children and their families. Krystal enjoys staying active in the local ECE community through various conferences, workshops, and trainings. She is an advocate for high quality child care and supporting children in their most important stages of life through age-appropraite outlets. In Krystal's classroom, she loves to learn while having fun and laughing. She also loves to support the children in their social and emotional growth. She strives to make each opportunity a learning opportunity for the children and herself. When Krystal is not at Little Learners, she enjoys hiking with her husband and dog, Kobi, playing her ukulele, taking road trips, reading a good book, and making various craft projects.

Director at Valley East Site - Cila Hall

Cila has her associates degree from College of the Redwoods in Early Childhood Education. Cila began working at Little Learners in November of 2011 in the preschool, toddler, pre-k room. And now she works as a head teacher in the preschool room at our Guintoli site. Cila enjoys working, interacting, communicating with the children and their families daily. When Cila is in her classroom she loves to sing, dance, teach, laugh, and help support growth of each child individually. Cila enjoys learning more to create a learning and interactive classroom by going to ECE trainings, conferences and reading books and articles. When Cila isn't at Little Learners, she likes to craft, read, sing, babysit, and learn new hobbies!

Christina Heathman

Director at 10th street – Christina Heathman

Christina holds an Associates of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from College of the Redwoods. She began working at Little Learners in July of 2013 at the Guintoli site as a head Preschool teacher. She is now the director and the head preschool teacher at the Arcata 10th and O st Little Learners site. Christina has two children of her own, Logan and Peyton. When Christina is not working at Little Learners she is enjoying her time with her family and friends.

Photo Credit to Paul Swenson Photo http://paulphoto.com