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K-State Today

May 4, 2011



K-State Center for Child Development celebrates 25th anniversary, new building

By Robert Daniels

The K-State Center for Child Development formally celebrates 25 years of providing quality child care to the K-State and the Manhattan communities Friday, May 6.

What began as a small, parent-supported child care cooperative back in 1985 has grown into Manhattan's second nationally accredited child care center. The other accredited facility is K-State's Hoeflin Stone House Early Education Center.

Now housed in a new, advanced facility, the child care center has come a long way. Its nationally acclaimed curriculum, nature-explore outdoor classrooms and building designed for children promotes the highest quality early childhood education. The new facility has 16 classrooms and is licensed to care for 230 children from age 6 weeks to the fifth grade. The center prides itself on meeting the needs of all families, as well as celebrating their similarities and diversity. Because of its on-campus location and its status as the only center in Manhattan that partners with the U.S. Army, the center currently serves families from all over the world.

Research in environmental psychology, early childhood education and architecture demonstrate a strong association between the physical environment and a child's success both academically and socially. This research was used carefully by the award winning Gould Evans Architecture firm in designing this new facility, which also has an advanced security system and incorporates many aspects of green technology. 

Debra Ring, executive director of the center, said, "The new facility was designed with our core value in mind: building positive relationships between children, parents and staff. The result has more than met our expectations. Staff and parents are so excited about the new facility and use the common open spaces to visit and develop relationships throughout the day."

Due to the unprecedented growth of Manhattan during the last couple of years and additional projected growth during the next few years, inadequate child care has become an issue for families and an economic development issue in our community. The new facility provided a 50 percent increase in capacity over the old facility and goes a long way to meeting the needs of families on child care wait lists across the community.

"We're thrilled and excited about the many opportunities that both the inside and outside spaces at the new building provide for our children to grow, explore and respect their built and natural environments," said Robert Daniels, parent of two children who attend the center and a member of its advisory board. "The sense of shared community the new space, its staff and students promote is another great tangible benefit."

The grand opening and 25th anniversary ceremony, at 5 p.m. May 6, will bring together the very first director of the center, Nancy Bolsen, currently the chair of the center's advisory board, and its current director Ring as they emcee the event. Distinguished speakers April Mason, provost and senior vice president; Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students; and Nate Spriggs, K-State student body president, will provide remarks about the facility and its role in the community. Refreshments and tours of the new facility will follow the presentation and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

For more information about the center or the celebrations, please call 785-532-3700 and ask for Ring or Kylie Martin, event planning chair.