DRYDEN, 09/20/16 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined in the campaign kickoff for the new Arthur Kuckes Childcare Center at Tompkins Cortland Community College and announced a $500,000 state grant he secured to help with the center’s development.
“Community colleges across New York State, Tompkins Cortland Community College in particular, are diverse education facilities with students from an array of backgrounds at different stages in life,” said Senator Seward. “Students who are parents of young children often struggle to find affordable, reliable child care so they can take classes and prepare for a brighter future for their families and that’s why this new childcare center is so vital. By expanding the center, more students and faculty members will be able to take advantage of this critical service providing them with peace of mind. The center also doubles as a classroom for students who want to enter the child care field, another clear benefit.”
The $500,000 capital grant secured by Senator Seward through the State and Municipal Facilities Program is being used to help support the expansion of the college’s child care center. Once complete, the center will accommodate additional children, provide infant care, and increase opportunities for internships and observational experiences for students seeking an associate degree in early childhood education.
Tompkins Cortland Community College President Carl Haynes, Ph.D. said, “Senator Seward has always been a strong supporter of the college, and his involvement with this project is another example. This center will make college accessible for more people, while also enhancing the education our students receive by providing an incredible hands-on experience in a real-world lab. We're very grateful Senator Seward appreciates the importance of this project and has provided assistance that will benefit our college, our students, and our entire community.”
Tompkins Cortland Community College Early Childhood Degree Program Chairman Carol Sammis said, “It's hard to express the sense of importance this new center will give to the Early Childhood program. The new center will move the discipline of early childhood education from the confines of the college to the world of the young child's classroom. This makes what the students are studying very real.”
Tompkins Cortland Community College Childcare Center Director Johanna Hartnett said, “Our focus is on best-practice experiences for children in a safe, stimulating, and nurturing atmosphere with educated professionals. Our parents are then able to concentrate on getting their own education while feeling comfortable that their children are happy and fulfilled. With the expanded capabilities of the new center we will be able make a real difference for our students and our community. By supporting the campaign, Senator Seward is coming through for both the college and the community, and we are extremely thankful.”
Construction of the new center is expected to begin in 2017 with an anticipated opening by the start of the 2018 fall semester.