Growth of The Goddard School of Columbia

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Goddard School of COlumbia

Growth of The Goddard School of Columbia: Serving our Community, Strengthening our Economy

On April 15, 2024, The Goddard School of Columbia marked an expansion milestone with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by notable guests including County Executive Calvin Ball, Councilwoman Christiana Rigby, HCEDA CEO Jennifer Jones, Howard Community College President Dr. Daria Willis and Maryland Department of Commerce representatives Ivy Gales and Sarah K. McMahon.


The Goddard School of Columbia has been a cornerstone of early childhood education in Maryland since its inception in 1997. In February 2020, Jim and Lynn Moratis became the new owners of the school, taking the reins just weeks before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, they remained steadfast in their mission to provide a nurturing educational environment for families in the Columbia area.


The school adapted quickly after the pandemic forced it to temporarily close for six weeks, reopening in late May 2020 to serve essential personnel. Throughout this turbulent period, Jim and Lynn were deeply involved in the school’s day-to-day operations, forging strong connections with families and staff. In recognition of their resilience and dedication, the school was nominated for the Rise to the Challenge Award in September 2022, honoring exceptional community members who made heroic contributions during the pandemic.


Determined to expand and enhance their offerings, Jim and Lynn embarked on a journey of growth. The school underwent a significant expansion, increasing from 11 classrooms in 12,500 square feet to 15 classrooms spanning over 18,000 square feet. This expansion included four new state-of-the-art classrooms for two- and three-year-olds, a new gym and an outdoor learning area.


With the expanded facilities, the school’s capacity grew to over 200 children, ranging in age from 8 weeks to 5 years old. Additionally, the school plans to offer before and after-school programs to the Atholton Elementary Community in the fall of 2024, further extending its reach and impact in the community.


Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) played a pivotal role in connecting the school with resources to support their expansion efforts. Through HCEDA’s assistance, they were able to secure support from the Maryland Department of Commerce, including a no-interest loan under the Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund. This funding significantly contributed to the expansion construction costs and mitigated operating risks.


Moreover, the school has actively worked to address workforce challenges in early childhood education. Partnering with Howard Community College’s Childcare Professional Apprenticeship Program, they have identified and hired apprentice teachers who are also enrolled as students at HCC. Funded by the Maryland Rebuilds Grant, this program supports the education and training of apprentice employees, ensuring a skilled and qualified workforce for the future.


As The Goddard School of Columbia continues to evolve and grow, its commitment to excellence and community remains unwavering. Through resilience, innovation and collaboration, it continues to set the standard for early childhood education in Maryland and beyond.


Together, we can support our child-care industry and view its success as the success of our economy.

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