Ignite the SPARK – A Love of Learning

(Canton, Ohio) – At-home learning programs, childcare education, play site, library and more. Are YOU familiar with the Early Childhood Resource Center?

With funding from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, the Early Childhood Resource Center was established in 2000 as a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Center was created to improve the quality of early education and care by providing professional development, accreditation courses, technical assistance, and mentoring for early childhood professionals.

In 2010, an outpouring of community support allowed the Center to purchase and renovate a new facility featuring an expanded children’s library and production lab, a state-of-the-art large training room, and an indoor Inspiration Station and outdoor playscape. This expansion supported the Center’s extension of services to families as well as educators.

In 2011, the Center began focusing on parent engagement, education, and support by offering parenting courses and mentoring services throughout the community.

In 2013, the Sisters of Charity Foundation transferred the management and operations of the SPARK kindergarten readiness program to the Center.

In 2014, the Ohio Division of Child Support partnered with the Center to provide parenting education for non-custodial fathers who fell behind on their child support.

In 2016, the Center became a partner in the THRIVE initiative to reduce infant mortality, helping young fathers strengthen their parenting skills.

In 2017, the state of Ohio designated the Center as the childcare resource and referral agency for Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull counties. As the region’s child care resource and referral agency, the Center helps early childhood providers improve their quality, helps families find early childhood programs that meet their needs and raises community awareness about the importance of early childhood development.

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