Reprieve for infant daycare program

Three days after the Gavilan College Child Development Center
parent club held its first fundraiser, trustees unanimously voted
to keep the struggling infant/toddler program running.
Gilroy – Three days after the Gavilan College Child Development Center parent club held its first fundraiser, trustees unanimously voted to keep the struggling infant/toddler program running.

In late June, parents were notified via letter that the infant/toddler program would close the following month so they’d better find alternate child care services.

The recommendation was handed down by President Steve Kinsella after budget reviews revealed that the CDC has been operating in the red for several years, and the infant/toddler program was the most expensive cost. To cover the overhead, the college was dipping into its general funds.

“We will right now commit to a semester-to-semester basis,” Kinsella explained to a board room of anxious parents. “As long as the room is filled, the market rate of $1,440 is affordable (to keep the program running.)”

Four infants currently occupy the infant room. Because Gavilan is under contract with the state, a ratio of one licensed instructor per every three infants required Gavilan to staff the facility with two instructors – causing additional financial strains.

However to keep the infant program afloat, Gavilan is opting out of the state contract, which reduces the staffing ratio to one-to-four, and increasing the cost of care to the market rate of $1,440 from $1,040.

The number of infants in the program will top off at four for now. Should the number of infants enrolled drop, so will the program.

Gavilan is terminating the toddler portion of the program and incorporating the 2-year-olds into the school’s preschool instead.

“(The infant program) is going to run as long as there is a need and the program is paying for itself,” said Susan Alonzo, Gavilan’s Child Development director. “I’m hoping that it does stay open, that the parents can have the care, and the CD students and nurses can use it as a learning center. But I’m happy now.”

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