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Columbus State Opens Center for Early Learning

Updated: 3 days ago

By Nathaniel Grossman, Director of Communications

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Children from the Center for Early Learning help cut the ribbon on their newly renovated facility.

Groundwork Ohio was on campus at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) for the grand opening of its newly renovated child care facility on May 17.

CSCC, in partnership with the Child Development Council of Franklin County (CDCFC), hosted advocates and community leaders for the ribbon cutting of its Center for Early Learning. The state-of-the-art facility will provide child care for CCSS’s full-time student-parents. It will also serve as a training site for students in the college’s early childhood programs. The renovation of the Center—which totaled $3.5 million—was made possible by a 2020 bond issue passed by Franklin County voters. 

The opening was attended by local advocates and community leaders.

Supporting the workforce of today—and tomorrow 

The speakers at the event—which included CSCC President Dr. David T. Harrison, Executive Vice President Dr. Rebecca Butler, CDCFC CEO Brenda Rivers, and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther’s Chief of Staff, Elon Simms—made clear that “child care is a must” for the workforce of today. And by ensuring young children are cared for in a supportive environment, the Center will also support the workforce of tomorrow. 

“This is an innovative partnership between Columbus State and CDCFC in service of critical community need,” said Butler. It’s a “step forward to address our region’s child care crisis.” 

The decorated hallways of the Center.

Training the child care workforce 

In addition to offering high-quality, affordable child care, the Center will also “serve as an innovative training ground” for students enrolled in CSCC’s early childhood programs. The facility has several observation rooms with one-way mirrors into classrooms. There, students may watch teachers in action without distracting the children. The observation rooms are also equipped with digital monitors that allow students to zoom in and out of instruction. 

A play area and classroom at the Center.

Expanding child care in a time of need 

The CDCFC will operate the Center under an Early Head Start model. The location, on CSCC’s downtown campus at Cleveland Avenue and Grove Street, is convenient for the full-time students who will have enrollment priority. After the initial enrollment of 94 children, the Center hopes to expand by offering placements to faculty members and then community members in the downtown area. 

The Center’s opening could not have come at a better time. Ohio’s families are suffering through a child care crisis. Access to quality care is limited. If care is found, it could cost more than a family’s monthly rent. Parents attending college are particularly vulnerable to the strain: in 2020, 19% of households with small children that changed plans for higher education did so due to lack of child care. Innovative programs such as the Center for Early Learning give  families badly needed options for their children. 



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