FINDLAY The Ohio Board of Regents has awarded a $250,600 Capital Grant to Owens Community College for the construction of a new Child Care Center to be located on the new Owens Findlay Campus.
The grant was part of $1.5 million in appropriations funding awarded to colleges and universities for construction and/or renovation of space for campus child care centers by the state of Ohio.
Recently, the Owens Child Care Center was nationally-recognized earning accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The prestigious accreditation has been achieved by only 7 percent of early childhood programs nationwide, according to the NAEYC.
"We are committed to providing high quality child care for the families of our students and the Toledo and Findlay communities," said Dotty Muir, Owens Vice President of Student Services. "The construction of the new Chid Care Center on the Owens Findlay Campus will enhance our mission of believing the early years are learning years, and promoting this through our nurturing environment."
The Owens Child Care Center in Findlay serves nearly 30 children ages 3 to 5 years old. Children of Owens students and employees, as well as the community are welcome.
The proposed new Owens Findlay Campus Child Care Center would be 2,400 square feet, with an actual indoor space of 1,758 square feet, allowing for an enrollment of up to 50 children, according to Chuck Mann, Owens Vice President of Business Affairs.
"This new facility also will include a lab where Early Childhood Education Technology students will have an opportunity to participate in daily activities with the young children," Mann said.
The children enjoy lots of hands-on experiences, Muir said. "Children are concrete learners and our play-based curriculum offers them more opportunities to learn."
The curriculum features a number of developmentally-appropriate learning centers, including creative art, storybooks, music and movement, blocks and construction, cooking, outdoor discovery, woodworking, computers and pre-writing.
The low ratio of students to staff also means that children get more attention, better preparing them for kindergarten and elementary school, she said.
The Owens Child Care Center also serves as a lab school for the College. Owens students in Early Childhood Education Technology gain valuable experience working in the Child Care Center. Many child care center teachers and directors throughout the community began their instruction at the Owens Child Care Center.
To continue improving service for more students in the Hancock County area, Owens Community College is in the process of purchasing land for its new Findlay Campus.
This spring, 2,142 students are enrolled at the Findlay Campus, which is located at the corner of Cory and Davis streets in Findlay. Owens expects to reach 3,000-3,500 students within the next four to six years.
The scope for Phase I of the Owens Findlay Campus project would be to install the infrastructure and to construct a 100,000 square foot education center. The infrastructure will include sewer/water tap extensions, an 850-space parking area and roadways. A number of sites are being considered for the new campus, especially along Interstate 75.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay campuses, Owens serves more than 36,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and the lowest tuition in Northwest Ohio. Owens Community College offers over 100 career-oriented programs and majors in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.
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