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Monday, July 29, 2013

CHANGES AT EARLE LOVE CHILD STUDY CENTER

It’s not always easy for parents to find a place where they feel comfortable leaving their child during the work day. Questions about the safety, staff, learning environment, health, cost, hours, and location are just a few of the concerns that flood a parent’s mind when searching for a child care facility that is the right fit for them and their child.

The Earle Love Child Study Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton has recently undergone several changes in operation to enhance the availability of its services. Karen Fielder, director at the ELCSC, said, “We’re excited to expand our service capabilities with a new operating schedule.”

Among the changes includes new operating hours of 7:15 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The center will now be open on a year-round schedule closing only on holidays. Rates have changed as well but vary among ages of children enrolled. The center accepts children ages one to five years old and can accommodate 12 children in the toddler room and 20 children in the preschool room.

There are several things, though, that have not changed at all at the ELCSC, especially the quality of care given there. Nutritious meals are always served to children at the child study center including breakfast, lunch, and a snack. With a degree-holding teacher in each room, they are a curriculum-based center and strive to enhance the learning capabilities of every child at an early age. The center is also used as a learning tool for students in the early childhood development program at UACCM. This helps ensure that the preschool classroom never has more than 10 children per teacher and the toddler classroom never has more than six children per teacher. These low student-to-teacher ratios allow a more personalized learning experience from the caring staff. The child study center is open to the general public as well as UACCM students, allowing anyone in the area to benefit from its unique offerings.

“My children love it at the Earle Love Child Study Center,” said Elizabeth Landers. “The staff there treat my kids so well that they cannot wait for the weekend to be over to go back. It is a home away from home for my boys.”

The ELCSC is more than just a daycare, though. Children at the center enjoy the fully-equipped and secure playground behind the facility for daily playtime. Guests are often invited to visit the children for fun activities such as the regular weekly visitor for music time and occasional visits from UACCM’s library director who reads them a book. The kids also trick-or-treat on Halloween and get a visit from Santa before Christmas. A dental hygienist stops by from time to time and teaches about dental health. Firemen and police officers also frequent the child study center to help better acquaint children with emergency personnel and to teach them how to react in emergency situations. Children at the ELCSC also do their part to help others through their participation in the St. Jude Trike-a-Thon and by donating pajamas to the Southern Christian Home at Christmas.

“The staff at the center have helped teach my son not only letters and numbers but compassion, patience, respect, and many more life skills,” said Leah Johns. “So when my daughter was born, there was no question where she would attend daycare. I know at Earle Love she will be safe and, most importantly, loved. There is no greater comfort for a parent.”

Fielder said, “One of my biggest compliments is when a parent wants to enroll a second child in our program. I know that they truly appreciate our loving staff and the quality of care that children receive here.”

Safety is also a priority at the center. The building is equipped with a safe-room for emergency situations. The entry to the facility includes a door that remains locked at all times with an exit button out-of-reach to children and a doorbell for those entering where staff ensures that visitors are parents or approved guests before allowing them access into the building. The play area is secured with a chain link fence behind the building. In addition to these precautionary measures is the added security of campus police who constantly patrol the area and are never more than a moment away in case of an emergency.

The center is licensed by the Department of Human Services Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education and has been awarded the Better Beginnings Level Two rating. Better Beginnings is a quality rating system which is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. The ELCSC provides a high standard of learning to all children enrolled. The center also participates in the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) program, a grant program allowing children in eligible families to receive free child care.

Staff at the Earle Love Child Study Center make learning fun and give parents peace of mind each time they leave a child in their care. For more information about the ELCSC, call Karen Fielder at 501-977-2018.

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