Release Date: October 9, 2008
Contacts: Kelly Davidson, Early Learning Center Director, 425-388-9120; firstname.lastname@example.org
EvCC Early Learning Center Reopening Celebration Oct. 21
EVERETT, WA - Everett Community College is hosting a celebration at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 to mark the remodel and expansion of the college’s Early Learning Center.
During the spring and summer, crews remodeled the 8,000-square foot building and constructed a 3,300 square foot addition to the Early Learning Center.
The celebration will be at the Early Learning Center, located at the west end of EvCC’s campus at 820 Waverly Ave. Washington state First Gentleman Mike Gregoire, husband of Gov. Christine Gregoire, is scheduled to speak.
The center offers licensed and accredited on-campus childcare and preschool for children ages 12 months to five years for students, faculty, staff and community members. With the addition, the center now can serve up to 116 children per quarter, an increase of 40 percent.
About one-third of community college students are parents, and many need affordable, close-by childcare, Early Learning Center Director Kelly Davidson said.
“Parenting students are the hardest working people I know, typically balancing school, work, family and a very tight budget,” Davidson said. “The additional space at the ELC means more families can provide a nurturing, educational experience for their kids while meeting their own educational goals.”
The expanded and remodeled Early Learning Center includes three new classrooms, a remodeled activity room, an updated kitchen, the addition of a staff workroom, a family resource room and improved outdoor play spaces. The center reopened for parents and children Sept. 22, the start of the college’s Fall quarter.
The ELC now offers an even better environment for children, thanks to new elements like three “ateliers” - dedicated rooms for long-term projects and small group interactive learning.
“Normally children in child care play, learn, eat and sleep in one room, so projects have to be cleaned up before the next activity starts,” Davidson said. “The expansion gives them dedicated spaces for a variety of art, science and gross motor experiences - and extended time to do them.”
Children will find playful details incorporated into the design, like floor-level windows, cubby holes and a kid-height kitchen counter for cooking projects. The center plans to partner with EvCC’s art department to involve children in at least four art projects for the building.
Each classroom has a backyard playspace, which allows the outdoors to become part of the classroom. There are trees, logs, grassy hills, sandboxes, pathways, a “treehouse” for older children, a stage area, picnic tables and more.
EvCC also offers the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), a free preschool and family support program for 4- and 5-year-olds. A larger ECEAP grant this year allows the center to serve 27 income-eligible families at the ELC and 54 families at the Trailside Village ECEAP site in Everett.
Quality early childhood education is an investment in parents, who can go on to earn living wages, and in young children, who can go on to become successful students themselves, Davidson said.
“Lack of access to quality childcare is identified as one of the top three barriers to continuing education,” she said. “Supporting families while they are attending college and parenting young children has a meaningful and lasting impact.”
The Early Learning Center is accredited by National Association for the Education of Young Children.
For more information about the Early Learning Center, visit www.everettcc.edu/elc or call 425-388-9121.