Canton, Ohio Daycare Reviews

I have worked extensively with many daycares in and around the city of Canton. As a foster mother, I needed to take my kids to the daycare that had an opening on the days I got the kid(s). I found several I’d recommend and some that I wouldn’t.

I had a hard time choosing between my two favorites as to which to put first and which to put second. For infants particularly, my favorite is All-Star Kids, located at 2311 Columbus Rd NE, which is what Rt. 62 becomes after you pass the Nickles outlet. The daycare is near MaryAnn Donuts. Lori Hamid, the owner, is a nurse and is wonderful to work with. She really went out of her way to accomodate my kids. This daycare struggled for awhile because two children escaped from the facility about 8 years ago when it was under previous management. Since then, they have upgraded security procedures and have magnet locks on every door. The release buttons for the magnets are located high on the walls so only parents can reach them, and the magnets automatically release when the fire alarm goes off. It is probably safer now than any daycare in the city. Because of the escape, Lori basically had to build the business back up from scratch. She has done a wonderful job. A lot of the staff has been replaced and the facility has been upgraded. Formerly located on Dueber SW by the post office, they moved to the new facility on Columbus Rd several years ago. All-Star Kids accepts children ages 6 weeks through 12 years. They have separate classrooms, divided by age. The food is very good, and the rooms are colorful and clean. The staff is younger here than at Rainbow (see below). I see them as being more involved with the children and more willing to get down on the floor to play. When my kids were small, prices used to run about $120 per week, and there is a variance by age, as well as a multiple child discount. In the summer, the school age kids get to take trips to various locations so they are not trapped at the daycare all day. As a result of the number of kids I placed with Lori, she was willing to allow me to call at 6:30 am and say I was bringing new children at 7:30. I kept a copy of blank paperwork at home so I could have it all filled out when I got there. I don’t know that she would do this for anybody, but most parents don’t get kids in the middle of the night and then have to go to work the next day, as a foster parent does. One other thing I should note here, the staff was very supportive of us throughout our adoption process, and they are very concerned about the children they supervise. I did witness them call in a complaint to childrens services when they cared for a baby who was continually brought to daycare in the same diaper she went home in the night before. Even though all daycares are required to report suspected abuse, not all of them care to get involved.

The other first place winner is Rainbow Preschool, located inside Perry Christian Church at 139 Perry Dr. NW (just off of W. Tuscarawas, catty-corner behind the new Sheetz gas station). Although they are affiliated with the church and do some religious programming, it is not overwhelming or offensive to non-Christians. The staff is extremely pleasant, and they were very willing to work with my kids, who often come with enough emotional baggage to cause problems. Rainbow has a large room where the children gather in the mornings, then several smaller rooms where the children are divided by age group for preschool activities throughout the day. My kids really liked the food here. They have snacks and lunch provided. There is also a large, fenced-in, outdoor playground with lots of climbing toys, and another grassy area with a few more playground climbers. For rainy days, they have a large gymnasium for play time. Rainbow offers latchkey programs for older kids, up to age 12, as well as before-school care. I think just about all of the school buses in Perry Township stop there to pick up and drop off kids. The only negative I am aware of is that they do not accept infants (child must be 3 years old & potty trained before attending). It’s been awhile since my kids were young enough to require full time care, but the rates at Rainbow were slightly cheaper than other places – maybe around $100 per week. There is also a significant discount for multiple kids from the same family. The only other thing that may cause a problem here is that there is ALWAYS a waiting list. I would recommend signing up when your child is 18 – 24 months so you can get a spot.

Although I have never personally taken my kids to Alphabet Nursery School, I have several friends who swear by it. They are located at 1711 Shorb Ave NW, but the facility looks like the address should be on Fulton Dr. This is an old house, with classrooms upstairs and down. I think she accepts infants through 12-year olds. I know children can go there when they are not yet potty-trained. They take even quite young children on field trips, such as to the Natatorium, and place an emphasis on education as well as play time. If I recall, this is the facility that requires that all children be read to at least 2 or 3 times a day. To the best of my knowledge, prices there were comparable or maybe a little higher than All-Star Kids.

Another facility that I have been to, but never placed children in is Canton Pre-School at 1318 Gonder Ave SE. This is a clean, very large facility close to downtown. It is supported by United Way and takes many underprivileged children. One of things I really liked about this facility is that it was clearly designed as a daycare, and the designers kept children’s needs in mind. For example, the front desk, where parents might spend some time standing and talking, is decorated with attached toys on the front side so the children can play while they are waiting. The staff is very nice here, taking time to work with all of the children on a one-on-one basis.

A new daycare just opened inside Trinity Gospel Temple at 1610 W. Tuscarawas. I have never been in, but the director there is the same lady who rain Rainbow when my children were little, so I have to imagine it is very good.

Finally, a place where I have had a bad experience and would NOT recommend is Perry Heights Childcare at 3542 – 12th NW. As I said, my kids can sometimes be a handful, and they were not able to handle it. One of the teachers broke out in hives over something my son did and was ready to quit. I don’t condone what he did, but it could have been handled a lot better. They did, however, work with us after we provided a tag-along from a counseling center to keep my son in line. And, in their defense, he had been kicked out of several daycares prior to this due to his unruly behavior. The other thing I don’t like about the center is that one of the school bus drivers told me she has often seen kids running outside with no supervision. Kind of scary.

If you have child care questions in Stark County, please feel free to email me at the address given in my profile. I’d be happy to help you if I can.

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