The EduCare center provides education and play for children
by Emily Beckman
The EduCare Center, located in the 1600 building on Butler’s El Dorado campus, recently celebrated 20 years of caring for the children of students, faculty and community members.
The accredited EduCare Center operates from 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday year round, providing care for children from two weeks to 12 years old.
For Sue Barrientos, coordinator of early childhood and administrator at EduCare, the most rewarding part of her position is knowing that the center provides high quality childcare.
“When I look in [the children’s] faces, I just appreciate that we’re able to provide that [care] for them,” she says. “Quite frankly, when I walk in that door and see those babies, that’s worth coming into work for.”
Barrientos notes that another important aspect of her job are the people she works with.
“It’s kind of our little corner of the world with very special people; I love to come to work and see the people,” she says.
Early Childhood Education Program
The center also serves as the lab site for the Butler’s Early Childhood Education Program, program director Susan Duncan explains. The program offers an Associate’s Degree, a one-year certificate program and coursework for a Child Development Associate credential.
“The College Early Childhood Program and the EduCare Lab Center are totally integrated,” Duncan says. “The goal is to demonstrate in the lab center what is taught in the college classroom.”
It is evident that those who work in the 1600 building believe in the importance of quality childcare.
“I always tell my students, besides the parents, early childhood teachers are one of the most important teachers a child will have,” says Teresa Thompson, department chair for early childhood education.