Office provides childcare resources

Brooke Schwartz, Contributing Writer

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Serving families in six different counties, students and families can use the Child Care Resource and Referral Office at Eastern for childcare referrals and financial help for parents in need.

Child Care Resource and Referral has been active since 1990. The CCR and R refers some local Charleston families to Eastern students and helps the students set up an hourly price and a schedule when working with the families.

Ashley Renee Nailing, the CC and R’s referral and data specialist, said students get as much out of this program as the families they work for.

In the program, Nailing said students can test out a major and see if working with kids is the right path for them.

“Hiring students allows family and consumer science or early childhood majors to see firsthand how young children learn and develop,” Nailing said.

The CCR and R provides information to anyone who needs it about what good childcare is and why it is important to a child’s healthy development. They show presentations and workshops on childcare options and quality care to the community.

Statistics, such as the average childcare rate or ages, are provided to anyone who might need them.

The CCR and R are always accepting applications for any students interested in providing care. It is up to the students to provide their own schedule and starting rate.

Melissa Coleman, the CCR and R’s outreach coordinator, said the program works well for local families who are in need of a local temporary childcare provider.

The CCR and R specializes in infant and toddler childcare.

According to a brochure, the infant specialization goals are to “increase the quality of early care” and “provide trainings, technical assistance and build capacity in early care and education settings.”

The CCR and R employs three full-time graduate students who work directly with the families in need.

Two of these positions will be empty in the spring and need to be filled. The application for these positions and for the position of a childcare provider, which would be sent out to interested families, can be dropped off at Klehm Hall or in the CCR and R’s drop box between the Human Services Building and Klehm Hall.

The application asks for students to provide valid references who can be easily contacted. It asks that applicants act professional and get to know a family before committing to work for them.

The Child Care Resource and Referral office provides opportunities for students who have children to get an education that they might not be able to get otherwise. The CCR and R can help these students and local families to pay for the childcare that they need.

Providers are given information and resources on starting a childcare business, individual professional funds and quality improvement funds. They also are given professional development trainings and a newsletter with current early childhood information.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].