Date: February 9, 2021

Contact: The Early Childhood Resource Center - Sandy Turner (330) 491-3272

MEDIA ADVISORY: Audrey Nelson Community Development Certificate of Distinction Award awarded to the Early Childhood Resource Center of Canton

The Early Childhood Resource Center received a 2021 National Community Development Association (NCDA) Audrey Nelson Community Development Certificate of Distinction Award.

The award is named in honor of Audrey Nelson, who was the first Deputy Executive Secretary of NCDA. She grew up in an inner-city Chicago neighborhood which was a target area for the local Model Cities Program, a precursor to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

The City of Canton awarded the Early Childhood Resource Center $40,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for a year-long program that helped Canton residents start their own family child care businesses.

The program, which began in August 2018, paved a career path for the participants while increasing the amount of high-quality child care that is available in the Southeast and Northeast areas of Canton.

An Early Childhood Specialist worked with each participant to create an individual plan. Weekly monitoring and coaching was provided that included physical set up of each location, starting a personal business and training that included Health & Safety and Family Child Care Business Practices.

All of the participants have worked to complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, a national credential for early childhood. To achieve this, the participant must attend classes, acquire 480 working hours, produce a required portfolio, be observed and take the credential test. The Early Childhood Specialist led the class and coached the participants. The credential is required for the state qualification of Step Up to Quality rating that all child care providers must receive to enter into a contract to provide child care with the state.

The grant also provided environmental materials and developmentally appropriate toys for each participant to use in their new family child care businesses.

With these new family child care businesses open seven days a week, they could impact 90 children!

About City of Canton Department of Development:

The Office of Development of the City of Canton, Ohio is responsible for overseeing Community and Housing Development of the City. Canton residents from all walks of life deserve clean, safe, and attractive neighborhoods in which they can live, work, and raise a family. Canton's citizens enjoy the largest Police & Fire Departments in Stark County, a safe water supply that will allow virtually unlimited growth for Canton and its businesses to flourish. To contact the Office of Development and/or the Community Development Director, please call (330) 489-3258 or visit

About The Early Childhood Resource Center

The Early Childhood Resource Center established in 2000 promotes the healthy development of young children by strengthening families, improving the quality of early learning experiences, and increasing school and community readiness. The Early Childhood Resource Center has become a community early childhood hub and a highly collaborative partner with local organizations and agencies. To contact the Early Childhood Resource Center call (330) 491-3272 or visit

About The National Community Development Association

The National Community Development Association (NCDA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization comprised of more than 400 local governments across the country that administer federally-supported community development, economic development, and affordable housing programs, including programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Programs. Since 1969, NCDA has been at the forefront in securing effective and responsive housing and community development programs for local governments.

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