The calendar has turned and at The Children’s Center, we look forward to a new year. Unlike the public schools, because we operate year-round, January 1st begins a new year for us. We’d like to thank all our 2019 donors, volunteers, community partners, families and friends for allowing us to continue to serve this very special community.
Based on the size of our waitlist, it is evident that the services provided by The Children’s Center are necessary to help young families in our community. This year, we will continue to serve as many as 200 children daily, providing high-quality early education and child care to prepare these young citizens for success when they enter kindergarten.
New Year ~ New Leadership
We are excited to welcome our new Education Manager, Drew Kuehner to The Children’s Center. Drew comes to us from Alabaster AL and has significant experience in the field of early education. He has spent his career working for his family’s early education center in his home town. Drew is looking forward to his new role, allowing him to be more involved in the classroom. His role is to ensure our teachers have the best resources available to help our children develop age-appropriate skills and be successful upon entering kindergarten. Drew looks forward to building on the team atmosphere in our classrooms and offering parents the opportunity to engage in partnering as their child’s first teacher.
Drew earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montevallo. Most recently Drew served as the Director at the School for Amazing Kids where he oversaw both the business and educational excellence of their programs. When asked what he is looking forward to most in his new position, Drew says, “Fostering the love of learning where it matters most.”
Thank you to the many people who participated in our Holiday Online Auction. We begin by thanking our sponsors, Mako Medical Laboratories and South State Bank. The bidding got fast and furious during the final hours with winning bidders receiving some outstanding deals to use for themselves or as holiday gifts. We also want to recognize our donors, without whom this event would not be possible.
Thank you to A Tantalizing Dish, Aerial Adventures, Allure Nail Salon, AR Workshop, Art Center of Coastal Carolina, ArtWare, Bartlett Tree Experts, Belfair, Berkeley Hall Club, Sandy Berthelsen, Bistro 17, Captain Woody’s, Club Seat Grille, Coastal Discovery Museum, Coastal Restaurant, and Bars, Colleton River Club, Concours D’Elegance, CQ’s and Old Fort Pub, Country Club of Hilton Head, Tim Cooke – Sea Pines, Matt Cuccaro-Sea Pines, Betsy Doughtie, Fire & Rice Paella, Forsythe Jewelers, Francesca’s Shelter Cove, Golis Family Jewelers of Bluffton, Hampton Hall Club, Heritage Classic Foundation, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, John & Mary Howe, Indigo Run, Island Playground, Island Rec Center, Allan & Gloria LaCoe, Brenda Lang Jewelry, Lashn Nail Salon, LAVA 24 Fitness, Lawton Stables, Long Cove Club, Lowery Restaurant Group, Christine McKeag, Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana, Moss Creek, Uschi Niner, Oldfield Golf, Ombra, Palmetto Dunes, Palmettoes, Peak Performance Fitness Center, PGA Super Store, Raz Reed, Scott’s Fish Market, Sea Grass Grille, Sea Pines Country Club, Sea Pines Resort, Sonesta, Up The Creek Pub & Grill, Vagabond Cruises, Wexford Club, and Zipline Hilton Head.
4K Planned to Go Statewide!
South Carolina funds full-day 4K in 64 of the 81 school districts, giving parents the choice to enroll their children in 4K either in the public schools or in a private, nonprofit, or faith-based center. South Carolina First Steps is responsible for the 4K program in private schools and childcare centers, including nonprofit and faith-based centers. Children who are otherwise eligible for the program but who live in the 17 school districts where the state does not currently fund 4K are left out of this high-quality, curriculum-driven early childhood education program. Beaufort County children are included in the 17 districts not currently eligible.
Governor McMaster has announced the inclusion of expanded publicly funded, full-day 4K (CERDEP) in his new executive budget. The Children’s Center has offered a 4K program for the past five years. Unfortunately, only children coming to our Center from Hampton, Jasper or Colleton counties have been able to qualify for this program. With the passage of this proposal, South Carolina First Steps 4K will be able to nearly double the number of children served and include qualified children from Beaufort County.
In Governor McMaster State of the State address, he will discuss his budget priorities, including 4K expansion. After that, it is up to the House of Representatives and the Senate to determine how much state funding will be designated to 4K private and public providers. At The Children’s Center we anxiously await the outcome of this process.