CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Goodwill of South Central Ohio marked a significant milestone with the recent inauguration of their own child care center. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place last Thursday in association with the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce.
Marvin Jones, CEO of Goodwill of South Central Ohio, remarked, “This really is a momentous day for Goodwill – a very historic day.”
Mary Anne Queen, Childcare Administrator for the Western Avenue location, shared the center’s journey since its opening on Sept. 18. “Everything has been going great since opening. It is a new adventure each day, and we are learning right along with the kids,” she said.
Despite its recent launch, the center, licensed to cater to 44 children concurrently, has seen considerable interest. At least 64 children have pre-registered online since early summer. Currently, 24 children are enrolled, with eight more set to finalize enrollment soon.
Collaboration with the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) was crucial to the center’s initiation. Megan Pieper, COAD Regional Coordinator for Business Supports, detailed COAD’s assistance, from initial data presentation to purchasing supplies, ensuring appropriate room arrangement, and helping finalize their license application.
Pieper lauded the center, saying, “The Goodwill Childcare center is a wonderful, quality asset to Chillicothe and the surrounding communities.”
COAD’s role is not finished, as their COAD4Kids division will continue to support with professional development and other technicalities.
Goodwill’s vision extends beyond Chillicothe. Jona Ison, Business Development and Communications Coordinator for Goodwill of South Central Ohio, hinted at potential expansions. “This is sort of our pilot venture, so if all goes well, we anticipate exploring opportunities to expand the service into other communities across our eight-county region,” Ison said.
For more information on Goodwill Childcare, visit gwisco.org/childcare or text CHILDCARE to 844-940-2300. Details about COAD can be accessed at coadinc.org/coad4kids or by calling 740-289-8800.