Child center celebrates 30 years

MIDDLEBURY — The summer of 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Otter Creek Child Center (OCCC) in Middlebury. The center will hold a celebration to mark the occasion on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be live music, face painting, a bounce house, balloon art, a slide show, arts and crafts and a group photo at 1 p.m. Otter Creek will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks for a picnic lunch and is asking attendees to bring a side dish or salad to share.
In response to the lack of available child care for infants, Otter Creek Child Center was founded in 1984 as an educational program offering high-quality care to greater Middlebury families for children aged 6 weeks to 3-1/2 years. From the outset, OCCC established itself as an innovative program not only by virtue of providing infant care, but by the design and execution of its curriculum.
Utilizing an emergent, rather than academic, approach, the Otter Creek curriculum provides children with experiences that allow them to learn in ways meaningful to their ability and interests, rather than focusing on isolated skill acquisition.
Otter Creek Child Center initially filled a glaring community need by providing quality infant and toddler care. As the program matured and grew, and as families increasingly voiced a desire for their children to remain at Otter Creek until kindergarten, the center responded in 1989 by expanding its curriculum and establishing the Eagle classroom for children aged four and five.
As a result, Otter Creek is presently one of two Middlebury early-care and education centers providing full-time, year-round child care for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years.
Over the last 30 years Otter Creek has served approximately 550 families from 42 towns in and around Addison County. Over the years Otter Creek’s enrollment has ranged from 40 to 60 children, with the current school year serving 52 children from 14 different Vermont towns and cities.
Otter Creek Child Center is at 150 Weybridge St. Call the center at 802-388-9688 with any questions.

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