ROUSES POINT - Champlain Children's Learning Center Inc. has been serving the children of the Northern Tier for the last 11 years - yet some of the community is still unfamiliar with what services they provide.
In August 1998, the nonprofit childcare center open its doors to families at the former St. Patrick's School. Since then, the center has been licensed to provide space for 98 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.
The younger children are provided with numerous activities throughout the day, all to build important skill sets.
"We do art activities - anywhere from painting, to coloring, to cutting," explained director Nicole Molinski. "They do storytime, in which the teacher will sit with them on the floor and read books."
According to the CCLC teaching philosophy, "Children learn best when they're having fun."
The classrooms, which are split into age groups, provide children with free time, to choose how they want to play.
Children can visit the "drama area" where there is a kitchen set and baby dolls. Others can do activities at a table such as learning to write their name and draw pictures.
"Schools have actually noticed that with having the children in a center like this as early as they can, they're more easy going," explained Molinski. "They're more acceptable with routines and socialization."
CCLC also provides Universal Pre-kindergarten, which allows children to prepare for kindergarten, the year before they start.
"It gears more towards those skills that the children need for entering into kindergarten," explained Molinski. "[They can] recognize their alphabet and numbers and so on. This just prepares them and gives them that one extra push before they enter into kindergarten."
Some people are still unaware of these and other services provided by CCLC, which is why Molinski said they have a Halloween Open House every year, to allow the community to visit and raise money for CCLC.
"We don't charge anything, but we do ask for a dollar donation to go into the haunted house," said Molinski. "And, we have a bake sale, which parents and staff will bring in items and we'll sell those during that night."
The open house will be held Friday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m., and will also have a small Trick-or-Treat, a storyteller, Halloween games and face painting.
"The community is welcome to stop in and bring friends," said Molinski.
The center is located at 10 Clinton St. For more information, including how to get your child on the waiting list for CCLC, call 297-2019.