As parents navigate the upcoming school year, many are looking for child care options. Centers across Omaha are limiting capacity as a safety precaution to keep children healthy, decreasing the overall spots available.
CRCC, previously Children’s Respite Care Center, has traditionally served the special health and education needs of Omaha children. In recent years, they’ve expanded their Early Childhood Education program to include children of diverse abilities, and they currently have available openings. This innovative approach to education is positively impacting children’s development, both typical and non-typical alike.
Amy Quinn, a teacher at CRCC, has worked in and out of the school system over the past 27 years. She’s had the opportunity to teach children of all learning levels and all abilities. To her, there is something uniquely special about teaching kids at CRCC.
“Having children together with all different levels of abilities is a miraculous thing to see and be part of every day,” said Amy. “These children learn great things from watching, working and playing together. It gives each child a sense of confidence and accomplishment.”
Edison Zortman, a typically developing, 17-month-old child enrolled at CRCC, has been making strides in the program. His parents, Zack and Dana Zortman are thrilled with his progress.
“One of the biggest days for us was when Edison took his first steps,” said Dana. “Seeing the other kids in his class walking around was the push he needed to put it together. It’s so good for these kids to see each other meeting milestones, and we’re very grateful this environment pushed him toward hitting a big one of his own.”
Edison’s parents see immense value in having their child learn alongside children of all abilities. In addition to his education, they believe he is learning important emotional and social skills, such as compassion, empathy and understanding.
“There are things you wish to teach your children that are more important than others,” said Zack Zortman. “We want Edison to always see people as capable and worthy of equal treatment, regardless of any differences they may have from him. CRCC gives him the opportunity to learn that at a much earlier age than most of us do and never know any differently.”
CRCC has openings in its Early Childhood Education program at both Northwest and Southwest centers for children of diverse abilities, ages zero through five. For more information, visit crccomaha.org or call the CRCC Client Care Coordinator at 402-895-4000.