The Northfield Presbyterian Church Day Care Center opened on September 6, 1977 with eight children cared for by two teachers and a part-time administrator. This was the culmination of more than two years' work in organizing and obtaining approvals, permits, supplies and equipment. The church was originally contacted by Faye Rafferty of the Summit County Welfare Department to provide quality day care for northern Summit County.
The original organizers were: Kay Seawright-Chairperson, Phil Shepard, Judy Baker, Larry Hable, Karen Chase, Linda Johns, Agnes Pavelko, Julie Rand and Barb Smyth. Funding to get started consisted of $7,400 from the Federal government under a 94-401 grant and $2,159 in "seed" money from both the Development of People Fund of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve and from the Synod of the Covenant's Department of Presbyterian Development. These are the regional bodies which govern our local church. The congregation also contributed the church rent-free the first year and $1,500 in cash.
As that first year progressed, the school grew and the services it provided to the community increased. Nursery School, Infant & Toddler classes, a summer day care program and after-school care for elementary age children are some of the services that have been added. From two teachers and eight children, the Center has grown to approximately 30 staff members and 160 children.
Our philosophy is based on the developmental needs, growth and competency of the whole child. The whole child consists of the cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual aspects of a child. These areas are presented by the classroom teacher focusing on a particular area or encompassing all developmental areas of the child. For the child, the process of experiencing the activity is more important than the end product. For example: A building block activity provides opportunities to enhance fine motor skills, creative problem solving, and social relationships not just the end product of a block structure.
It is the purpose of the Center to provide growth experiences in a supportive, Christian environment that will encourage the sound development of the whole child as a unique individual. Continued interaction between the Center and family in a mutually supportive way provides for an atmosphere of understanding and openness.