University celebrates opening of Homewood Early Learning Center

Adult-sized chairs were ordered and large ceremonial scissors borrowed for a special event in a preschool room at Homewood Early Learning Center at Johns Hopkins, managed by Downtown Baltimore Child Care. The excitement was similar to that of the first day of school, which had occurred a few weeks earlier.

University President Ron Daniels talked about the long-standing importance of high-quality child care to faculty and, after many months of planning, building, and preparing for the little learners, cut the ribbon to celebrate the efforts of many, including the project's leaders, Barbara Landau, a professor of cognitive science and director of the Science of Learning Institute; Beverly Wendland, dean of Arts and Sciences; Ed Schlesinger, dean of Engineering; Charlene Moore Hayes, vice president for human resources; and Daniel Ennis, senior vice president for finance and administration.

Ennis spoke about the important connection between high performance at work and feeling confident that your children are well taken care of in your absence. He acknowledged the tireless efforts of the project team, which included the Office of Facilities and Real Estate; representatives of the schools of Engineering and of Arts and Sciences; university finance specialists; Whiting-Turner Contracting; Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson Engineering; D.W. Arthur Associates Architecture; and Michelle Carlstrom, senior director of the Office of Work, Life and Engagement. After Margo Sipes, executive director of DBCC, talked about the importance of play in children's learning, guests toured the sustainable, natural playground.

Other special guests at the event included Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, vice provost for faculty affairs; Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke; and Liz Kelley, of the Maryland State Department of Education's Office of Child Care.