Our History


Meet Judy, the founder of Smoky Row Children’s Center.
Judy’s professional life began in 1960 (yes, before you were born!).  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at University of Omaha and a Master’s Degree in Child Development at Ohio State University.  She taught in the Omaha public schools before joining the HEADSTART program, which included teaching Child Development at Columbus State Community College.  Then she realized and fulfilled her goal of creating a high quality early childhood center when she founded Smoky Row Children’s Center in 1983.  Judy says, “The favorite part of my day at SRCC is getting out of the office and spending time in the classrooms.  As I walk around seeing children happily involved in developmentally appropriate activities, I feel proud of our teachers and the work they are doing and the wonderful service we offer.  I deeply appreciate their passion and dedication to the mission of the center.”  She and husband Bob, who is a retired OB-GYN, love to travel.  They also delight in spending time with family, especially their three grandchildren.  Being a Grandparent is the dessert of life!
The home is the most important factor in a child’s development.
-We will always strive to support and complement the family in order to promote the healthy development of children and parents.As teachers of young children, that we should try to discover and work with each child’s own uniqueness.
-Accepting all children where they are; accepting their limitations as well as recognizing their potential.Play is the work of
young children and they learn best through direct experience.Children are naturally curious, open, energetic, trusting and happy.
-It is our privilege and duty to be sure these qualities are nurtured and channeled in constructive ways.Social awareness and understanding are developed through modeling, guided conflict resolutions, and forming friendships that are active and caring.


  • To provide each child a secure home-like atmosphere not as a substitute for, but as an enrichment of, family life.
  • To encourage independence and self-direction by helping children learn to make their own choices and decisions.
  • To provide children a chance to have fun, to be happy, to be safe.


  • Frequent, positive, warm interactions among adults and children
  • A curriculum compiled from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation Criteria and the Early Learning Content Standards from the Ohio Department of Education
  • Ongoing assessments of each child’s learning and development with progress being communicated to the child’s family
  • Planned learning activities and materials appropriate to the children’s ages, development, and interests
  • Specially trained teachers
  • Enough adults to respond to individual children
  • A healthy and safe environment for children
  • Regular communication with parents, who are welcome visitors at all times

Smoky Row, accredited in 1987, has been re-accredited every three years since. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the most comprehensive accrediting body overseeing childcare, preschool, and before-and-after school programs.