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  1. Early Childhood Resource Center
  2. About
  3. Our History

Check out our 2018 Annual Report to learn about the impacts we're making on the communities we serve. read more >

Tools to promote school readiness, these backpacks are perfect for parents, schools, child care centers, and libraries. Libraries in 16 … read more >

Learn more about the SPARK kindergarten readiness program that’s working with families in 11 Ohio counties.     read more >


The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act created a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. This prompted an increase in Ohio mothers entering the workforce and a increase in demand for high-quality child care. Simultaneously, new research on early development indicated a direct link between strong, secure attachments to nurturing caregivers and a child’s ability to cope with the social, emotional, and cognitive demands of adulthood. The evidence showed that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain growth and development.


In response, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, which is dedicated to initiating systemic change to impact the root causes of poverty, committed $1 million to its Quality Child Care Initiative. Before distributing the funding, the foundation did research and held community focus groups to determine specific areas of need. It became clear that accreditation and professional development would most dramatically improve early education and care across Stark County. Thus emerged the concept of a resource center to support early educators.



With a generous gift from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, the Early Childhood Resource Center was established as a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Health System is a nonprofit organization that carries out the ministry of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine by providing oversight, leadership, and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina.



The Early Childhood Resource Center launched a capital campaign to purchase and renovate a new facility. Thanks to an outpouring of community support, the new center officially opened its doors in 2011. The facility features an expanded library and production lab; a large, state-of-the-art classroom; and an indoor Inspiration Space and outdoor playscape to support the extension of services to families as well as educators.



The state of Ohio designated the Early Childhood Resource Center as the child care resource and referral agency for Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull counties. Throughout these counties, the Early Childhood Resource Center equips educators with the knowledge and resources they need to provide high-quality education and care, guides families as they search for the high-quality early childhood programs that meet their needs, and raises public awareness about the importance of early childhood development.

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A Ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System