Community must find solution for child care needs

Published 10:04 am Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dear Editor,

Ephraim McDowell’s decision to close A Children’s Place is a huge loss for our community. Not only will over 135 children lose quality child care but we could lose future workers and business opportunities because of our worsening day care shortage.

The facility on Lebanon Road is excellent and was designed to be a day care. It is a safe, secure center with working-parent friendly hours, room for outdoor play, and caring staff that is licensed to hold over 200 children. Despite its suitability, Ephraim McDowell has said that they plan to retain the building for use as a healtcare facility which more closely serves their mission. This is understandable but deeply disappointing. 

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Without the facility, our community will have to work hard not just preserve but to expand our access to quality child care. We already faced long waitlists at area centers which hinders recruitment for jobs and makes it difficult for local women to enter the workforce.

We need more access to child care not less. According to the American Planning Association, for every dollar spent now on early childhood care, our community can expect a return of $7. On average, for every job created in the child care sector, 1 1/2 more jobs appear. And in Kentucky, child care creates over $810 million of economic output. Boyle County risks falling behind other communities economically if we don’t come together to find a solution. 

Ephraim McDowell ran this center for 30 years. It is time for the Danville/Boyle County community to step up and ensure that we have quality care for the next 30 years. 

Dr. Tara Strauch