Goodwill of South Central Ohio has obtained its childcare center license from the state and will officially begin providing services on Monday, Sept. 18.
Missions Coordinator Cana Horner is excited to finally be opening the center on Western Avenue after about a year of planning.
“I’ve been at Goodwill for 15 years and opening a daycare has long been a dream of mine. Our staff needs it, the people we provide workforce services need it, and the community overall needs it,” Horner said.
Childcare Administrator Mary Anne Queen said the need is evident in the number of children who have been signed up since they began accepting pre-enrollment online in July.
“We’ve had 61 children signed up as of Monday and about 34 daily spots available right now. I have been contacting parents in recent weeks to determine days and times needed so we can develop a roster which serves as many children as possible,” Queen said. “Our staff was hired in July and has been training and bonding ever since. We’re all super excited to get to know the children and families who will become part of our Goodwill Childcare family.”
While the focus right now is on opening day, Goodwill expects it will expand the center into the rest of the building on Western Avenue in 2024. A wait list will be maintained and openings filled when possible.
Plans to open a childcare center developed as Board Chairman Jim Hill and CEO Marvin Jones began hearing more about the need internally as well as at the state and national level.
“Childcare can be a barrier for people to enter, re-enter, or remain in the workforce, and having access to a quality childcare center as an option is imperative, especially for those without natural supports for childcare,” Jones said. “We’re very excited to be able to add this service for our community. We would not be able to do it without our dedicated staff, the people we serve, our business partners, COAD (Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development), and especially those who shop at and donate to our retail stores. We thank you all very much.”
A ribbon cutting with the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce will be 10 a.m. Sept. 28 at the center, 2541 Western Ave.
Goodwill is a nonprofit agency focused on partnering with individuals with disabilities and challenges to help them lead the lives they envision across our eight-county region: Athens, Fayette, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Vinton. As of September, Goodwill of South Central Ohio, based in Chillicothe, was serving 298 people across its region. For more information on Goodwill, go online to www.GWISCO.org and follow us on Facebook.
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