Day care crisis persists, but has faded from public view

Published 6:29 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

It has been two months since Ephraim McDowell announced they would close A Children’s Place.

In those two months, many individuals have expressed interest in opening a daycare center in Danville. They have visited available buildings, inquired about rent, and explored the process of getting licensed. 

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While several people continue to work through the regulations, most interested parties have disappeared and many have expressed frustrations at the lack of suitable spaces. It seems that our problem isn’t just a lack of daycares but a lack of space and community interest in making space available. 

On top of the challenge of finding suitable locations, over the past two months, many people seem to have forgotten about the day care crisis. While it was the main topic of conversation at events in the weeks following the news, I rarely hear it discussed now. 

Meanwhile, families affected by the loss of safe, secure childcare continue to panic, worry, and make choices that take economic dollars away from Boyle County. More families that could benefit from child care are missing out on educational, economic and social opportunities. 

I have a Ph.D., a caring spouse with whom I share family burdens, a supportive community and financial resources.

I’m incredibly lucky. But yesterday, I cried in my car because I’m losing the day care community that made being a working mother possible and rewarding.

I don’t know what my family is going to do. In all likelihood, we will have to juggle inconvenient day care locations and hours or kinds of care that are not in the best interest of my children. And still, I know I am lucky to have those options.

While I can still understand Ephraim McDowell’s choice to close ACP, I can’t help but feel bitter and frustrated when I leave that building every workday. Even at over 30 years old, it serves children well.

Yet, it won’t be a space for children for much longer.

We simply don’t have enough spaces for children to grow and learn in this town. And many of us searching for ways to protect and enrich our children are feeling lonely and forgotten.

Dr. Tara Strauch