Students with children have many child care options in area

Ana Mihajlovic

Jennifer Scherer, junior human development and family studies major, plays a board game with her class which includes Cray Donaughe, 4, Jayland Smith, 4, Daniel Gosmer, 4, and Charlotte Scherer, 4.

Credit: Beth Rankin

With the beginning of a new semester, child care decisions occupy the minds of many students who are also parents. Juggling family, school and work leaves little time to find the right child care center.

Kent and surrounding areas offer a variety of child care programs to fulfill the needs and interests of every child. Magic’s Day Care of Kent is a popular choice for many students and faculty.

“About 70 percent of our parents are affiliated with Kent State University somehow,” said Jennifer Scherer, director of Magic’s Day Care.

Also, the majority of the staff at Magic’s Day Care are students as well. Scherer is majoring in early childhood education.

“We are very Kent State oriented and we work around all schedules,” she said. “We also offer financial assistance.”

Cost influences parents’ decisions about child care, while tuition rates vary with each center and depend on the child’s age as well as hours enrolled. Full time weekly rates for local child care centers range from $135 to $189 and part time program costs vary depending on hours and days.

Kids Play in Stow is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and offers infant, toddler and preschool programs. All centers provide some financial assistance to students to help pay the cost.

The Child Development Center, a child care program on campus, also serves as a training facility for early childhood education majors.

“We have contracts with four counties — Portage, Summit, Cuyahoga and Stark — and the families who qualify for financial assistance in those counties can come here,” said Carol Bersani, director of the Child Development Center.

In addition to county assistance, Magic’s Day Care also offers second child discounts.

To meet the needs, interests and abilities of children and add variety to the curriculum, centers oftentimes organize special events.

Kids Play has visitors and speakers that aim to be fun and educational.

“We had firefighter Sandy from the Stow Fire Department come in,” said Deborah Pavlick, director of Kids Play.

“Our staff is highly trained and experienced with a very long longevity,” Pavlick said of the center’s staff. “The problem in child care is high turnover rate, but Kids Play treats their employees very well and many of them have been with us for years.”

Students who need child care can visit any of the centers and fill out an application.

Contact non-traditional students reporter Ana Mihajlovic at [email protected].