The Children’s Learning Center at GateWay Community College is branching out further into the Phoenix community and opening a center in a former elementary school managed by Osborn School District. This expansion will allow the GateWay center to accommodate up to 72 additional children.
“We always seek opportunities to partner with industry, educational institutions and community agencies to improve access for our students,” says Steven Gonzales, president of the college. “So when Osborn School District Superintendent approached me asking if we would be interested in partnering, I saw it as a great opportunity for students from not only GateWay but our sister colleges, as well as the Osborn community.”
The new center will be located in the former Montecito Elementary School near 7th Street and Indian School, and will accommodate students where they live as well as allow the center to help even more students with children at its Washington Campus on 40th and Washington.
“Based on the need of our students, employees and the general public, we have a wait list every semester for our services,” explains Mary Beth James, supervisor of the college’s Children’s Learning Center. “This new location is central for our students, many of whom live in that neighborhood and hopefully we will be able to accommodate students from other colleges as well as the general public.”
The facility will be shared with a Head Start program, separately run by the Osborn district. While the Head Start program is on the site, Osborn Superintendent Patricia Tate sees the GateWay expansion as a great opportunity for families in her school district.
“By bringing affordable, high quality early childhood education to our community, GateWay is investing in a better, more equitable future for our diverse student population and providing much-needed support to their parents struggling to balance childcare needs with the demands of work,” says Tate.
GateWay also will provide parents with parenting education classes, similar to the ones it offers at the Children’s Learning Center on its Washington Campus.
“This two-generation approach is broadly supported by experts in the field, and I have no doubt that this partnership will become a model program for moving children and their parents toward higher education together,” says Tate.
Its anticipated that the center will open in early September, where they will be serving up to 48 children, ages 2-4, and will provide before- and after-school programs, as well intercession care during the holidays, to about 24 students. During the summer, camps will be held as well.
The center is made possible by funding from federal and state grants, and will be self-sustaining.
For more information, please call (602) 707-2500.