1st Ohio mega child care center to open soon in West Chester

The flashiest child care center in Butler County’s history will open soon in West Chester Twp. as a national chain stakes its spot in the region.

The giant Children's Learning Adventure center resembles a hybrid between a daycare center and Kings Island with bold, kid-friendly entertainment and education features that rival anything seen in Southwest Ohio.

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Finishing off its construction phase on four acres on Ohio 747 north of the Smith Road intersection, the early childhood education center will offer 33,000 square feet of brightly colored interiors that will include a child-appropriate instructional kitchen, bowling alley, student theatre, television studio, homework study areas and more.

And when it opens in March, the center will be surrounded by 35,000 square feet of outdoor play equipment featuring rubberized surfaces, artificial turf, a mini tennis and basketball court and tall playground equipment for youthful exploration and exercise of pre-school through 6th grade students.

Toss in around 100 employees and our region will soon have its first mega-child care and educational youth center.

“The learning environment at Children’s Learning Adventure (CLA) is unique and something folks in your area have never seen before,” said Daniel Petersen, CLA’s vice president of development, from the national chain’s headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Our educational curriculum is implemented similarly to an older child’s school schedule. Our kids enroll into a home room setting, and from there, they experience seven different specialty learning environments, including a math & science lab, art studio, television studio, library, garden center, a miniature city, and perhaps the most exciting classroom, a professional grade cooking classroom,” said Petersen.

A Children’s Learning Adventure center is also under construction in Warren County’s Deerfield Twp. and the Columbus area will also see a center soon as the 38-center chain, which started in 2008, expands for the first time into Ohio.

West Chester and Mason were both desirable communities given their relative affluence in the growing, northern Greater Cincinnati suburbs that remain a magnet for young families, said Petersen.

Locally and nationwide, the need for childcare is widespread.

According to a 2015 national study by Child Care Aware of America, an estimated 11 million children under the age of five are in child care in the United States, spending an average of 36 hours per week in care of others.

And more than three-quarters of all American children between the ages of 3 and 5 receive care from someone other than their parents or guardians, including formal center-based day care, informal home-based day care, and other arrangements such as nannies, reported the study.

And according to a 2016 U.S.Department of Education report more than half of all mothers with young children are in the workforce, including 64 percent of women with children under age 6 and 61 percent of women with children under age 3.

Barb Wilson, spokeswoman for West Chester Township, said the local government welcomed Children’s Learning Adventure’s investment in the community because it helps fill a crucial need for many area families.

“The new Children’s Learning Adventure center complements a series of new development projects along the State Route 747 corridor that represent services generally valued by nearby residential neighborhoods,” said Wilson.

“Children’s Learning Adventure is new to the Ohio market and the company’s investment in West Chester speaks to the community’s reputation as a family-oriented community,” she said.

Pricing for the center’s various programs, which also includes summer-school, hasn’t been determined yet, said Petersen but he added that it will be “consistent within the market place” for such facilities.

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