Jeffrey Mosher speaks with Elisabeth Tobia, CEO of Educational Child Care Center (EC3) of Lansing, MI.
EC3 is being recognized as the April 2021 MVP (most valuable partner) for CAMW! the Capital Area Michigan Works!.
EC3 was originally developed as a collaborative effort between the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the Lansing School District (LSD), local early childhood professionals, and the Ingham County Office for Young Children. Operated and staffed by the LSD, it was initially intended to be a child care center for the children of state employees and district residents.
EC3 began in 1984 for business as a pilot/model program to improve the quality of early education for all young children. The LSD superintendent at that time, Richard Halik, emphasized the need for public schools to take a more active role in preschool education since many children were entering school unprepared. He agreed that quality childcare programs would be one way to help remedy that problem.
Hear Elisabeth share the details of Childcare Advocacy in this podcast.
- State of child care — pre-pandemic and now?
- Impacts of COVID-19 on parents, providers, and employers?
- What do employers need to know about quality child care?
- How can businesses best support their working parents?
Here are more details about EC3: As time went on, EC3 outgrew their space in the Michigan School for the Blind. The LSD was no longer using the Main Street Building as a childcare facility. The EC3 Board of Directors indicated an interest in leasing the Main Street building and began negotiations. In May of 1998, EC3 began a five-year lease of the Main Street School building, and EC3 purchased the building from the LSD in 2006. EC3 staff and parents continue to invest a great deal of time, money, and energy in developing the building and playgrounds into a "home away from home."
In keeping with its vision to be the premier childcare center in the greater Lansing area, EC3's model program currently serves roughly one hundred families from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Generally, 10% of the children enrolled receive some form of state or federal assistance. EC3 is one of the few childcare centers in Lansing accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. EC3 has participated in Great Start to Quality since its inception in 2011 and currently has a four-star rating. EC3 is also an important training site for mid-Michigan's future early childhood professionals. As a teaching facility, EC3 provides tours, observations, and job shadowing opportunities for local college students considering early childhood careers.
EC3 continues to operate as a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide developmentally appropriate childcare in a nurturing environment that promotes the growth of the whole child while responding to the needs of the family. Its operations are funded almost solely through tuition, while capital improvements are funded through the Building Blocks Campaign. To donate to either the Building Blocks Campaign please click HERE.