Description: The “Children’s Center” was originally housed in a ranch style home on Lake Michigan Drive near the entrance to Grand Valley State University. The original Center was comprised of two houses with younger students in the main building and the older students in the “Friendship House”, a small building next to the main building. The Children’s Center was established in the early 1970s shortly after Grand Valley College was started. Marge Morgan was the first director of the Children’s Center and of the Early Childhood Program at GVSU. The Center was operated by undergraduate students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Grand Valley College. The capacity of the center then was 20 children. The Early Childhood Program was discontinued to begin the Police Academy. In 1987 the Children’s Center had its first full time on-site director; Mary Ann Krause was the director until 2007. During her term as director the Children’s Center was moved onto campus. Construction on the new building at its present location was completed in 1995. The capacity for the new building was 64 children and the building was designed with an open floor plan. The center operated as a drop in center, in that children could be dropped off and picked up at varying times during the day. At its busiest time the center would have 62 children at one time. The center employed about 25 staff, most being undergraduate students at Grand Valley State University. In 2002 the Children’s Center included a Head Start component which ended in 2005 due to lack of funding.
During this time the main mission of the Children’s Center was to provide childcare services for families and students and to offer hands on educational experiences for GVSU’s students. In 2005, the Children’s Center became the first childcare center in Ottawa County to become accredited through the National Association for Young Children (NAEYC). During this time the center became an auxiliary under Housing, previously it had been under the department of Dean of Students.
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