Sinclair offers affordable childcare for students

Laughter can be heard from children having fun in the playground outside of Building 9.
“We are the best kept secret in the city,” said Carla Rhoades, director of the Sinclair Early Childhood Education Centers.
Located on the first floor of Building 9 Room 101, the Early Childhood Education Centers provides childcare for children ages 3 to 5. The center has 83 students: 61 of the children belong to Sinclair students, 19 to faculty and staff and three children are from the Dayton community.
The Early Childhood Education Centers also serve as a laboratory school for Early Childhood Education majors. The students gain hands-on experience with what they have been taught in the program with support and guidance from the teachers, Rhoades said.
“The biggest benefit of the Early Childhood Education Centers is that many of our families wouldn’t be able to attend Sinclair if we weren’t here,” she said. “Sinclair students have affordable childcare and it is right here on campus. So the family has a sense of security knowing that their child is close.”
There are two different learning centers; the Early Learning Center provides childcare all day and children must be in the center by 9:30 a.m. The Flex-Time Learning Center is for short-term childcare during the day. Both centers are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Enrollment into the Centers occurs every quarter. All children must be potty trained and 3 years old before the quarter starts. All paperwork and physicals must be completed before their first day.
“‘We are not a drop-off, and we do not provide drop off childcare services,” Rhoades said. “We are a center of education and care. We do intentional experience to help the children develop skills for life—we are not a drop-off. There is a schedule and a contract.”
Megan Edmonds-Wert, a philosophy instructor at Sinclair, uses the childcare program for her 4 year-old daughter Dharma.
“I think after meeting the director and teachers, I was really comfortable leaving my daughter with them because they exude care and responsibility. There is also a good balance between structure and play.”
Edmonds-Wert said that she has never had a complaint with the childcare program and will be sending her child back next quarter.
“She always seems to have a really good time,” Edmonds-Wert said. “She will stay there until she is ready for kindergarten.”
The Centers are an accredited institution through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The children are taught pre-writing skills, pre-reading, letter recognition, phonetics, colors and shapes as well as social and motor skills.
The curriculum is built around the children’s interest, and Rhoades said it makes learning more enjoyable and meaningful for them.
“We focus on all areas of the child’s development,” Rhoades said. “We offer real hands-on meaningful experience.”
The ECE center received a 3-Star rating, the highest rating, from Step Up to Quality in 2011, which is Ohio’s voluntary rating system for Ohio Department of Family and Job Services licensed childcare programs.
“We don’t have to do it, but we choose to do it, to go above and beyond the minimum requirements as established by the state of Ohio,” she said.
But many students, faculty and staff don’t know that there is a childcare center in Building 9. It is a secret that Rhoades said everyone should know about.
“A lot of people don’t know that we are here, we are truly a jewel of downtown Dayton. We are high quality, and we strive to be excellent,” Rhoades said.
The Centers are currently full for Spring Quarter, but are accepting enrollment applications for Fall Semester. For more information contact the Centers at 512-2234.

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