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Anniversary to be celebrated at Armory Square Child Care Center

Anniversary to be celebrated at Armory Square Child Care Center stccpreschool.jpg
SPRINGFIELD On Oct. 22 the Armory Square Child Care center at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an open house from 10 a.m. to noon. The non-profit center primarily serves children of full-time staff and students at STCC, but also accepts children from the Greater Springfield area. Established in October 1984, by students and faculty of the Early Education and Care Studies program at STCC, the center is now incorporated, and is licensed to care for as many as 40 children ages 2.9 years to six years. The center is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC.) "That's the gold standard for child care accreditation," Charity Provost, the center's director who has been a staff member there for the past 11 years, said. The center is run by a volunteer board of directors, all current or former employees at STCC. Its staff are all graduates of the STCC Early Education program. The center is a specially renovated area located on the first floor of Building 14 at STCC. Outside, near the campus green, hopscotch patterns are often chalked on the sidewalk. Dr. Lynne Quintin, chair of the Early Education and Care Studies program, and vice president of the center's board of directors, said, "One thing that makes the center so unique is that the children of Armory Square are embraced by the students, faculty and staff here in ways that have extended their classrooms into our campus community." Provost said that older children, who were once enrolled at the center, sometimes come back to visit. "Particularly on public school holidays, they may drop in with their family, to say hi." She describes the philosophy of the center as learning through play. In the two classrooms, the younger children are absorbing social skills, while the four- to five-year old children are progressing through early reading skills. Provost hopes to welcome center graduates and area families to the open house. "Come and have coffee and meet the staff," she invited.

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