May 26, 2023

55 Years in Childcare: Creative Playrooms Celebrates a Huge Anniversary!

Creative Playrooms Montessori and Childcare Centers, part of the Early Learning Academies network of schools, recently celebrated 55 years in childcare. In 1968, Creative Playrooms opened its doors for the first time in the Maple Heights area of Cleveland. 55 years is an impressive amount of time for a company to thrive. To put it in perspective: the year Creative Playrooms was founded was the year the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Since its beginning as a single center, Creative Playrooms has expanded its locations to six different centers throughout the greater Cleveland area with a robust range of educational programs that includes Montessori and, most recently, K-3 charter schools in collaboration with Accel Schools.

To learn more about the Creative Playrooms journey, we spoke with Debbie Pack, Operations Manager for ELA. Debbie started her career with Creative Playrooms in the classroom over thirty years ago!

How long have you been with Creative Playrooms? 

I have been with Creative Playrooms for 32 years. I started in a toddler classroom as a teacher and then supervisor. Later I became a Center Director and then Regional Director overseeing seven centers. Today I am the Operations Manager for the east and I support multiple regions with the Director of Operations.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in Creative Playrooms long history? 

The biggest change has been participation in Step Up to Quality, Ohio’s Child Care Quality Rating System. All six locations meet program standards that exceed licensing health and safety regulations.   

What are some of Creative Playrooms’ biggest accomplishments? 

Creative Playrooms has always stood out in the early childhood education space because of our unique programs. Our childcare centers were the first to offer traditional and Montessori programs and the only childcare centers to have on-site indoor pools at several locations! This year we have expanded to include K-2 charter opportunities for a seamless transition into elementary school on the same campus!    

What is the best thing about being part of the Creative Playrooms community?

My favorite part is having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful families and be a part of their child’s journey.

Do you have a favorite memory?  

We have many family engagement events throughout the year, but my favorite is graduation. I have the pleasure of meeting many of our children as infants. To watch them grow over the years during their early childhood journey and graduate is incredibly rewarding!              

Creative Playrooms has been such a rich part of the community these past 55 years—what do you think the future will hold? 

Creative Playrooms will continue to be a leader in early childhood education and offer quality programs for families in the greater Cleveland area. As the industry changes, our centers will grow to meet those needs.