Laughter, nursery rhymes, and children at play are all sounds you would typically hear while walking down the hall at the Randolph County YMCA Daycare. This is a busy bustling place with over 110 children ages six weeks to five years enrolled, and when school is out elementary age children are also under their care. In February 2018, the daycare welcomed a new director, Erin Hodge, who is making a positive impact on the daycare.
When asked what three words best describe her, she responded with, “Quirky, Funny, and Enthusiastic!” Erin has such a bubbly personality that overflows into her job on a daily bases as she tries to always “keep the best attitude possible when faced with challenges.” The new job has had some challenges starting with her very first day, when she was supposed to be touring the facility in order to make her final decision about the job. The daycare had an emergency fire situation and had to evacuate to the Ohio Valley Gas Corporation. The episode took place during nap time and most children didn’t even have shoes or a coat on, staff had to work fast escorting children through the snow and cold to safety. Everything turned out okay and Erin decided to accept the job even though the first day was very hectic. She jumped right into action and made sure everyone was safe and sound even though she didn’t even know anyone names yet.
The staff at the YMCA have welcomed their new director with open arms, they even through her a surprise birthday party when she turned 23 back in March. Her eyes filled with happy tears when she was greeted with an office full of balloons and a carry-in lunch. The staff laughed with her when her reaction was “Awe! You guys really do like me.”
“Taking over as “boss” can be hard but she has done it very gracefully. When you work as close as we do together on a daily bases, you become a family. We are here to care for the children in our community and Erin treats us all with respect.” responded one staff member during an interview.
The Daycare introduced Erin with a special event, “Doughnut with the Director”, the children came in so excited to see a table filled with delicious sweet doughnuts. This event was a chance for all parents and members to meet Erin and become acquainted with her, she also addressed any concerns they might have had. The event was a success because both parents and children have welcomed and supported Erin into her position.
Erin graduated in 2013 from Monroe Central School Corporation, and continued her education at IU East where she received her bachelors in political science. Before working for the YMCA, she was a director at the Boys and Girls club where she also worked to impact the lives of children. She said, “I have always wanted a job that held meaning, and a position where I could help changed the lives of children.” She wants to help children grow up into successful adults.
When she is not at work she loves spending time with her dog Maggie who was a rescue dog. “I am not sure what breed of dog she is because I actually rescued her, but it doesn’t matter to me. I love her so much!” Erin has a huge heart towards all animals and people, she strives to be an encouragement to everyone she meets. Erin also spends time blogging with her roommate for their blog “So says she” where they write a variety of stories. “The blog has been a project that we have wanted to start since last November, and we are excited to officially have it open and available to be read online.” Erin said happily.
The daycare is open every day from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm and provide care for children starting at 6 weeks and up until they go to kindergarten. They also provide after school care for school children and a summer camp program. Teachers prepare fun activities and crafts daily for children to participate in, encouraging them to explore their imagination. The facility has video cameras in each room and doors can only be opened by car card access which makes it a very safe facility. If anyone would like more information, feel free to call Erin Hodge at (765)-546-9622. The daycare also accepts donations from individuals who would like to help support them, items such as art supplies, books, and Kleenex can always be used.