Parents, officials effort saves CDC

Parents, officials effort saves CDC

Parents, officials effort saves CDC

Less than a month after the announcement of its May closing, the families and staff of the Child Development Center are celebrating.

Through collaboration between parents and University administration, the CDC will remain open.

“We’re ecstatic, we’re all very happy,” said Dana Forsythe, director of the CDC. “Even the children are excited.”

Forsythe believes the preservation of the Center will touch more than just parents and the students involved.

“There’s been a lot of negative things lately on campus, I think people are down, I think it’s good to have something positive,” she said.

Parents who use the Center were notified by letter Jan. 22 of the closing and reacted intensely, citing the value of the CDC to them, their children and the Missouri Southern early education students who get practical experience.

“We were very pleased that the parents of the children who have used this valuable program felt so strongly about the center that they stepped forward to help us solve this critical issue in a positive manner,” said University President Bruce Speck.

Originally cut for budget concerns, finances for the Center have been reworked to compensate for the $80,000 cost to the University, making the child care facility a “budget neutral” situation.

Speck said he is “delighted” that the center will remain open at no cost to Southern.

“Parents stepped forward and said ‘we’re willing to pay more,'” he said. “It’s going to be a break even, maybe even make a little money.”

A select group of parents will now pay $26 instead of $23, and the CDC will be filled to a greater capacity, 49 students.

The CDC previously had 30 slots available, however, not all students attended daily.

With multiple students on a waiting list for a spot in the program, Dr. Glenn Coltharp, dean of the school of education said they will begin contacting those families immediately to fill the new 19 slots.

“We even have people that are pregnant that call to get put on the list,” Forsythe said.

With the CDC’s cook retiring in May, Sodexho has volunteered to prepare meals, a further ease on the CDC budget.

Forsythe, along with the other teachers at the Center, will remain in their current positions.

“I love my kids and the staff here,” Forsythe said. “It’s a family.”