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Little Tigers Staff

Owner/Director: Anika Blum

Hello, my name is Anika Blum, owner of Little Tigers Learning Center, LLC (LTLC). But, before my new adventures begin, I am first and foremost, mother to Nick, Allison, Ashleigh and Paisley! 

My husband, Doug, and I moved with our 3 oldest children to Adel, from Ankeny, in August 2016. Paisley made us a family of six, making her forever home with our family, in March 2017. What an adventure parenthood has been!  

After high school, while attending college, I worked for ChildServeDuring my 9 years at ChildServe, I worked with children with special needs in a few different roles. I worked with children and their families by providing respite and SCL services; aimed at supporting the children to be able to continue living at home. I also provided direct care for children living at the residential units. I followed some of the children and their families to other agencies as they got older, and was able to be supportive to many families for a continuous 15 years!  

I graduated from Grand View College (now University) with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Human Services and Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology and Sociology. After graduation, I worked for Mosaic, as a supervisor for group homes that served adults with disabilities. Later, after finding out that we would be expanding our family, I found a job better suited for my new role as mother. I spent 10 years with John Deere, wearing many hats, but finally ending up in IT.  My husband Doug still works for John Deere.

Doug and I are not strangers to center based child care. Our children have spent over ten years in a center based learning center. When we moved to Adel, we became quickly aware of the gap between the need for quality child care and the availability. We were fortunate enough to find great support for our youngest daughters. We are excited to be able to provide the same support for the families that attend LTLC. We would like LTLC to be a place where staff and children would like to spend their days playing and learning! We know what it’s like to be working parents, with children in care. We know what it means to trust and know our children are loved in our absence.  

We want the families that come to LTLC to know we understand that trusting us with your children is a big deal and we take on that responsibility with honor! 


Assistant Director: Katie Buttolph

Hi there! My name is Katie Buttolph and I am so excited to be the Assistant Director of Little Tigers Learning Center (LTLC).

I graduated Ankeny High School in 2011. During high school I worked for the City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation department as an instructor for their youth sports and recreation programs. I taught a variety of programs that included a music class, teaching children how to cook, a day camp for school agers, and coaching soccer for fifth graders. I also worked at an in-home day care where I assisted in providing care for a range of children. I really enjoyed being able to work with children in different settings and watching their knowledge grow.

I graduated from Iowa State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Child, Adult, and Family Studies. I worked at Ames Community Preschool Center (ACPC) for six years. I started as a teacher’s aide while in college and became an assistant teacher after I graduated. I spent a couple of years floating between children 18 months- preschool. I was then offered a Head Teacher position with three-year-old’s. My favorite thing about working with children is watching their excitement grow when they learn something new.

I am looking forward to this new adventure and I am so excited to be on the Little Tigers team!