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Child care center opens

May 10, 2012

Photo by Gian DeLoia – Shown, from left, parent Jessica Steger, Ridgway-Elk County Chamber of Commere Administrative Assistant Mary Kucenski, owner Karen Fox, Main Street Manager Michelle Bogacki, Chamber President Cathy Grove, Kimberly Catalano of PNC Bank, and Julie Fox.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday afternoon for Karen Fox's Child Care at 235 Monterey Ave. in the Borough of Ridgway.
Fox who graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Childhood Field of Studies and having worked in a large daycare facility in Pittsburgh for a year and a half is excited to begin her next venture back in her hometown.
Unlike the large daycare facilities that care for hundreds of children, Fox says her home center provides children with valuable one-on-one time that could potentially lead to a faster development.
"There is much more one-on-one and the children are coming to a home that they are familiar with," Fox said. "It's like going to their second home. We get to know the children and they become a part of our family."
At the Center the children are involved in a number of activities including singing, drawing, finger-painting and reading. In good weather, the children spend time outside in the sandbox, swings, teepee and picnic table.
"We try to stay unstructured because we are not a preschool," Fox said. "We try to make it as if we were home with their mom. We try to make it as comfortable as possible."
Each month is designated a theme to rile the children's interest in each passing month.
April's theme "manners" involved teaching the values of sharing and the basic table manners.
Karen said this month's the theme is "growing."
"The children are taught how things grow," Fox said. "We are going to have a garden outside and we have already started the plants."
Fox also receives help from her mother, Julie Fox, who also ran a day care center out of her home.
Through a three-year grant received by the Dickinson Center to assist in the Parents as Teachers program, Lynn Floravit, is able to visit the center a couple times a month to involve the children in activities designed to increase development.
"She stays for about an hour and plays and sings with the children," Fox said. "It's a really nice program. She is a big help."
Fox says a couple openings are still available.
For more information or to register your child call Karen Fox at 814-903-0123.

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