The Gambier Child Care Center (GCCC) has been awarded five stars in the Step Up To Quality rating system from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The award recognizes the GCCC’s high-quality early care and education program.
Step Up To Quality is Ohio's quality rating and improvement system for licensed learning and development programs. The GCCC is the first center in Knox County to be given the five-star, or highest, rating.
Kenyon built the GCCC in 2007 to provide an early care and education option for children of college employees. Knox County Head Start operates the center on behalf of the College. Today, 70 children are enrolled — more than 50 percent from College employees, 30 percent who are Head Start and Early Head Start participants and/or receive subsidy supports from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and 20 percent from the rest of the Knox County community.
“We applaud the Gambier Child Care Center employees for their commitment to children. By going above and beyond Ohio’s minimum licensing standards, educators give young children the opportunity to grow and develop in a stimulating, nurturing environment,” said Peg Tazewell, executive director for Knox County Head Start.
A parent described the care their children receive at the GCCC as invaluable. “Not only have they provided exceptional learning opportunities, but the GCCC staff has taken individual interest in our children and family and collaborated with us to ensure the kids' experiences at home and school are consistent,” said Jessica Ryals, whose children, ages 5 and 3, are enrolled at the center.
Ryals, a Mount Vernon, Ohio, resident, notes creative field trips and outdoor play, as well as careful planning by teachers, as keys to the center’s success. “Our kids love attending and have great relationships with the staff and fellow students,” she said. “We're confident that our kids are in the best possible hands at GCCC.”