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Toddler Room Opens at Children’s Learning Center

When Nyric Gosley and Sarah Spatzer spend time at the new Toddler Room at Pennsylvania College of Technology, their mothers and grandmothers are never far away.

Each workday, mail clerk Helena N. Yancey brings Nyric, her 2-year-old son, to the Toddler Room, which is part of The Children’s Learning Center facility on the first floor of the Bush Campus Center. Yancey’s mother, Shirley A. Yancey, is a general ledger assistant in Accounting Operations at the College.

Carrie A. Mayer, secretary to the School of Integrated Studies, brings her daughter, Sarah, to the Toddler Room as well. Mayer’s mother is Kathleen F. Mayer, secretary to the Physician Assistant’s Program.

Mayer, who has been with the College since August, likes the convenience of having 2 1/2-year-old Sarah within walking distance. She plans to “peek in” on her daughter on lunch breaks and expects her mother may do the same from time to time. “It made me feel better to have her here on campus,” she said of Sarah.

Helena Yancey opted for the Toddler Room for similar reasons, saying it’s more convenient than her previous child-care arrangement for Nyric. “He’s closer, in case anything happens . . . I’m thinking about keeping him here for kindergarten. also,” she said.

Previously, The Children’s Learning Center only accepted children between the ages of 21/2 and 5 during the regular school year and up to age 8 during the summer. The Toddler Room, which has a capacity of 10 to 12 children, will accept children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. Preference is given to Penn College students and staff, and full- and part-time schedules are available. Most of the parents served by the Toddler Room are students at Penn College.

“It’s nice to have child care on-site, so that parents can visit their children during the day or be quickly available in case of illness or other problems,” said Karen Woland Payne, director of The Children’s Learning Center at Penn College. “These two children are especially lucky to have both mother and grandmother on campus.”

The Toddler Room has been made possible by a grant provided by the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Act, a $4.9 million federal initiative which also expands child-care fee subsidies for students with young children. Penn College is one of only three institutions in Pennsylvania, and 87 nationwide, to receive funding in the initial year of the grant program. The College’s grant was for $31,200.

The weekly fees for toddler care are slightly higher than for preschool or kindergarten, more because a lower staff-to-child ratio is required for younger children. Staffing the Toddler Room are Kathryn P. Jerald, group leader; and Sonya K. Miller, assistant group leader.

The Children’s Learning Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It has provided child care and education for Penn College students and staff since 1994. It also serves as a “learning lab” for students in the Early Childhood Education major.

Application forms for the Toddler Room may be obtained at the Children’s Learning Center, the Campus Center or the Lifelong Education Center information desk. For more information about the Toddler Room, contact Payne at (570) 326-3761, ext. 7239.

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