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SC State child development learning center retains 5 year accreditation amid wavering licensed childcare options in the city

According to the university, the center is the only nationally accredited one in Orangeburg County, and has stood the test of time.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — South Carolina State University's Child Development Learning Center has retained its five year national accreditation.

Parents in Orangeburg say access to quality health care can be hard to come by. According to the Department of Social Services, there are 19 licensed and approved child care providers in the city of Orangeburg.

Among these, is the Child Development Learning Center located on South Carolina State University's campus. This is where parent Tantiana Burns enrolled her three year old daughter.

“I think there were a lot of options but I knew in my mind the kind of place that I wanted her to be a place where she could grow and learn and that would set her educational foundation," said Burns.

According to the university, the center is the only nationally accredited one in Orangeburg County, and has stood the test of time. 

In order for a center to receive accreditation, they have to meet the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 10 areas. These areas include relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment of child progress, health, staff competencies preparation and support, families, community relationships, physical environment, and leadership and management.

Over the years, director Stephanie Felks says she's seen childcare options waver in the area.

“Childcare centers have come and gone, but a lot of the ones that have been here for a while have stayed consistent, and they’ve stayed here in communities," said Felks.

She cites changing licensing regulations as a contributing factor to why it's become more challenging for centers to stay open. At her center, she says children learn through play and other interactive activities.

Burns says she's seen the changes in her child's development during her time there, and plans to keep her there through 4k.

“She’s learned how to count to 30 which is good for a three year old. Of course the ABC’s, colors," said Burns, “I know how important these formative years are so I’m hoping these years will shape her and set her in the right direction for the importance of education and having an educational support system that embraces her.”

For more information about the Child Development Learning Center, contact Director Stephanie Edwards Felks at 803-535-9853 or sfelks@scsu.edu.

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