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May 3, 2010

Sunnyside Child Care Honored for Engaging Families

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Sunnyside Child Care Center at Smith College has been named one of ten exemplary early childhood education programs for its success at engaging diverse families by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

In operation since 1975, Sunnyside is one of the area’s longest running early childhood centers, offering care for children aged 18 months to 6 years. The population is a mix of both Smith- and non-Smith-affiliated families. Smith students often serve as assistants and interns at the facility, located on the campus at 70 Paradise Road.


"Sunnyside's explicit commitment to diversity is fairly rare in a preschool setting and it was one of the reasons our family chose Sunnyside," said Mona Kulp, parent of two children in the program. "Research has shown that the preschool years are when children are first starting to show awareness of gender and racial identity among other developmental leaps and it is great to know that my girls spend their days in an supportive environment that celebrates our diversity."


The award follows a process that included a site visit by representatives of the organization, which lauded Sunnyside for demonstrating “strong evidence of effectively engaging the diverse families it serves.”

Sunnyside Child Care Center will be recognized at the opening session of the National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sunday, June 6. As part of that event, Sunnyside and the other award recipients are invited to share the strengths, knowledge and strategies of their programs.

The program will also be recognized in the July 2010 issue of “Young Children” magazine in a piece about diverse approaches in child care for a diverse nation. Online profiles of all ten programs will also be posted.

Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children from birth to age 8 and promoting high-quality early childhood education.

For more information contact:

Susan Beemer, director
Sunnyside Child Care Center at Smith
(413) 585-2293

Mona Kulp
Member of the Sunnyside Diversity Committee
(413) 585-3735


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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