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Published 3/10/2005

Owens Community College Receives Grant To Heighten Child Care Facilities

Owens Community College has been selected to receive a $50,721 Ohio Board of Regents Child Care Facility Funding grant for the purpose of enhancing the Child Care Center’s existing preschool outdoor play area on the Toledo-area Campus. Such additions are designed to heighten each child’s cognitive learning and physical development.

“Owens Community College’s Child Care Center is devoted to enhancing the lives of children through developmentally appropriate curriculum, which is child centered,” said Deb Ciecka, Owens Chair of Early Childhood and Paraprofessional Education. “Receiving the Ohio Board of Regents Child Care Facility Funding grant will enable Owens to continue its mission of providing the latest in innovative child care teaching and learning methods for our students, as well as children of employees, students and the community.”

According to Ciecka, the capital funding will be used to develop outside playground areas where children can engage in interactive learning instead of competing on current equipment. “Spaces will encourage cooperative play, decision-making, collaboration and increase understanding of the natural environment.”

In addition, the new outdoor play areas will afford Owens Early Childhood Education Program students the opportunity to effectively learn how to facilitate children’s play in the early childhood setting, understand the value of play as an effective vehicle for promoting children’s learning, and appreciate and recognize the value of outdoor play by incorporating it regularly into the experiences of children. Redesigning the play space also will allow non-ambulatory children enrolled at the Child Care Center to engage in a truly inclusive environment with their peers.

Beginning this past year, Owens’ Child Care Center became one of a select few schools across the United States to introduce a new philosophy, which centers on every child being afforded the right to grow and learn in a favorable environment. Named after a small town in Italy, the new philosophy titled Reggio Emilia stresses reflection, practice and further reflection, and coincides with the College’s ideals in believing that children’s unique ability allows them to express their learning in hundreds of different ways.

“The Reggio philosophy is really based on a belief and an image of the child as competent, caring and curious,” Ciecka said. “Children are not empty vessels to be filled up by adult knowledge, but capable learners on their own, with rights – not just needs.”

The College’s Child Care Center on the Toledo-area Campus provides quality child care to more than 100 children ages six weeks – 10 years old.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Northwest Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and 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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P.O. Box 10,000, Toledo, OH 43699-1947  |  3200 Bright Road, Findlay, OH 45840-3600