Upperco church's care center is trying to do big things for the little people CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

November 27, 1992|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing Writer

Exciting, creative and energetic are the words Nancy Diefenbach uses to describe the future of the new Emory Child Care Center in Upperco.

The licensed center, owned and operated by Emory United Methodist Church, opened in the church's new Education Building in mid-November.

Mrs. Diefenbach, who directs the full-time child care and preschool program, has high hopes for the new center and has been working diligently to make them a reality.

The Sykesville resident said one of her main goals for programs at the center will be to incorporate parent and child participation, especially in the preschool program.

"I would like to see a full and developed preschool program with more parental input," said Mrs. Diefenbach.

"I feel we are a service to them, and I want them to be as much a voice as possible.

"As far as the children, I hope that they are eager participants who will help decide what they want from the program. In this program they will be exposed to a variety of teaching techniques since each child learns differently."

Mrs. Diefenbach stressed the importance of providing a routine for children who will be at the center all day.

"The children that are here full time should have structure. They need to have a reason for what they are doing," Mrs. Diefenbach said.

"We will have special activities, primarily in the summer. We will go on field trips, like to the Farm Museum, the circus and the zoo. We'll do something a little different for the school-age kids, like take them bowling or roller skating."

While Mrs. Diefenbach is still planning aspects of the preschool program, the full- and part-time child-care programs are under way.

"Right now we have a total of 51 children enrolled at the center," she said.

"This number includes 19 children who are in the before- and after-school program. We will be very careful about taking any more before- and after-school kids. We are trying to grow with the full-time child care."

Mrs. Diefenbach said the center will reach capacity when 60 children are enrolled.

The new center came about as a result of the church's desire to provide families of the community with church-run child care.

The Rev. Kenneth A. McDonald said the church had used a private child-care provider for the past two years before making the decision to run its own program at a church conference in July 1992.

"The church made the decision to open our own quality child-care program," Mr. McDonald said.

"We look at it as a part of the church's outreach ministry. Right now it looks real good for us. Since we opened, our enrollment has been increasing steadily."

Programs offered at Emory Child Care Center include part-time and full-time care for children ages 2 to 5. The before- and after-school program cares for children ages 5 to 12.

The cost for full-time care is $75 per week per child.

This includes snacks and a hot lunch prepared in a full-service kitchen in the Education Building.

The cost for before- and after-school care is $40 a week, or $20 a week for before- or after-school care. The center opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.

Information: 833-6596.

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