ECLC provides quality childcare for students and employees

ECLC provides quality childcare for students and employees

Felicia Kopperdahl, Staff Reporter

College can be extremely overwhelming for faculty and students with children. When considering the class load, homework and the duties of daily life, childcare can be a  concern that causes additional stress.

However, Central has been doing its part to alleviate the pressures of childcare.

Central currently has two childcare locations on campus: the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) and the Rainbow Center. The ECLC is located in Brooklane Village, and the Rainbow Center is located in Michaelson Hall, room 109.

Janie Charlton, director of ECLC, said the childcare centers put students and faculty first.

“We definitely cater more to college students because we operate on the academic calendar,” Charlton said. “We are close to campus.”

Timothy DeSelms, a post-gradutate student, had two children at the ECLC 10 years ago and currently has two-year-old twins  at the center.

“The ECLC is more than childcare, it is more like preschool,” DeSelms said. “Both full-time and student teachers have a passion for teaching children and it shows in their attitude everyday and my children’s level of learning.”

Charlton said that the childcare center provides an outlet for student parents to meet one another and have common ground.

“A lot of our parents are single parents, so they get to meet other non-traditional parents that have children and they get to network that way,” Charlton said.

The Rainbow Center and ECLC accept children from the ages of one month to eight years old. The facilities are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with two blocks available: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Parents choose blocks depending on what their daily schedule is.

Depending on the block chosen, the prices can range anywhere from $16-$20 a day. Parents can also have their child at the center all day, which could cost $26-$30 per day. A full day of childcare elsewhere in the community often runs over $26.

Students can pay for the childcare centers through financial aid and student loans. There is also a loan specifically for childcare called the Student Childcare Loan.

The faculty at the Rainbow Center and ECLC are very experienced. Charlton said the majority of the faculty is Central alumni.

“All our teachers have their education or early childhood degrees, so we are more than qualified,” Charlton said. “I think quality care is always hard to find.”

The majority of the faculty have been with the centers for a number of years, such as the assistant director of ECLC, Michelle Hill.

“It’s not like we just got a job, this is actually our profession,” Charlton said. “I’ve been here a while and my assistant director has been here for 16 to 17 years and there’s a teacher who has been here almost 11 years.”

These childcare centers are early learning centers. In other words, the centers are not daycares or a babysitters for the day. They are centers that teach children and engage in activities that challenge them mentally and physically. The education and music department also come to the facilities every now and then to do observations of the children and staff.

“We don’t just take care of children, we actually teach them,” Charlton said.