Thursday February 17, 2011

A Leader in Early Child Education

The director of the University of Dayton's Bombeck Family Learning Center has received a state-wide award for her leadership.

The Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children named Diana Smith the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Program Administrator Award. Smith is the director of the University of Dayton's Bombeck Family Learning Center.

She is recognized for advocating quality programming that meets the needs of staff and families while also providing administrative leadership and support to ensure developmentally appropriate practice. She will receive her award at the OAEYC annual conference Saturday, April 30, in Columbus.

Under Smith's leadership, the Bombeck Center has received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has earned Ohio's highest rating for quality.

"The Bombeck Center is a valuable asset to the Dayton community," said Kevin Kelly, dean of the University's School of Education and Allied Professions. "In addition to providing quality care and education for local children, it also serves as a demonstration school for early childhood education students to learn best practices and as an outlet for faculty to develop curriculum and conduct research that has benefits for the entire field of education."

The Bombeck Center has its roots on the University of Dayton campus, where it began as a childcare facility for the children of faculty and staff. It moved to its current location on the corner of Alberta and Stewart streets in 1974.

A $3.8 million renovation in 2002 helped transform the center into an early childhood demonstration school for the University's School of Education and Allied Professions. The renovation was spurred by a $1 million gift by the family of columnist Erma Bombeck, a 1949 University of Dayton graduate.

The OAEYC is a state-wide professional organization for teachers, caregivers, advocates, health care and other professionals serving young children ages birth through 8 and their families. OAEYC is an affiliate of NAEYC which is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.