For the past two semesters, ETSU’s Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development has offered evening childcare through Little Bucs on campus childcare located in the first floor of Warf Pickel Hall.
Little Bucs caters to ETSU students with children between the ages of three months and five years old. The charge for daytime childcare is $7 per hour for infants and $6 per hour for toddlers, with a flat rate of $5 per hour for evening care.
“We’re kind of trying to assess the needs of the students right now. The hours were previously Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Elizabeth Huber, Program Coordinator for Little Bucs. “We settled on those days because it seemed to work with the most families and their classes and childcare needs.”
For Spring 2016, Little Bucs is looking to change the days for evening childcare to Mondays and Wednesdays based on changing class schedules and student demands.
“We’ve asked the families that are already using the childcare, but we want to make sure that we can reach and assist as many students and families as possible,” Huber said. “People can respond by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 439-7549.”
Little Bucs strives to maintain a low key, relaxing atmosphere for the children and families. The facility is DHS licensed, and all of the teachers are First Aid and CPR Certified.
“The teachers working with Little Bucs also have degrees in Early Childhood Education in addition to graduate students studying education as well,” said Huber. “We also have Federal Work Study and Academic Performance Scholarship student workers that assist us as well.”
They approach childcare and learning at Little Bucs with a Reggio Emilia inspired view.
The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy that values the unique potential and individual curiosity of each child.
“A lot of what we do with the children is very hands-on and project based,” she said. “For infants we provide a lot of sensory experiences, and all of our classrooms are very nature based, whether it’s playing outside, learning about nature or even gardening.”
The Environment at Little Bucs is intentionally set up, with low lighting used to create a calm atmosphere that is really tailored to the interests of the children.
“We’re proud of our program. We’ve recently made some really nice updates to our facilities and classrooms,” she said. “I think it’s a relief for parents to be able to feel safe and know their children are in good hands, all with the convenience of being on campus.”