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Central Miss. center celebrates opening
CANTON, Miss. -- Canton area residents now have access to an expanded resource and referral center for child care and early education.
Early care and education providers, parents and other residents will be able to use lending library materials, such as books, toys and puzzles, die-cut machines and other instructional resources, while also having access to early child care professionals at the downtown center.
The Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center is a collaborative project between the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Early Years Network and Excel By 5.
Canton Mayor Arnel Bolden praised the resource and referral center, which celebrated its grand opening Feb. 22 at an event attended by MSU Extension Director Gary Jackson, MSU Extension Fiscal Administrator Richard Swann and local dignitaries.
Katherine Weatherby, a local child care provider, said the new site in Canton offers expert advice in addition to learning materials.
“Family providers can come here to gain knowledge and become more well-rounded to meet the needs of the children and parents they serve,” she said. “I have been blessed by the resources and the people. The relationships with the Early Years Network staff are just as important as the materials.”
Weatherby has worked with the Early Years Network’s Family, Friend and Neighbor program and regularly uses the resources available at the Central Mississippi Resource and Referral Center.
“The potential to grow is there for any provider because of the support provided by the Early Years Network. We are blessed because of you all,” she said.
The center’s hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as the fourth Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. until noon. The center is also open by appointment from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Early Years Network is a program housed in the MSU Extension Service and funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development to provide early care and education programs and materials for teachers, directors, children and families to improve the well-being of Mississippi’s children. For more information, visit the Early Years Network website or Facebook page.