Declining enrollment and funding forces daycare to close

Declining enrollment and funding forces South Knoxville daycare to close

Posted:
My Village Childhood Development Center attendance has gone down in the last several years. My Village Childhood Development Center attendance has gone down in the last several years.
"The parents came to parent night and of course tears running down their faces and said, 'But my baby has been here since she was six weeks old and now she's almost five,'" said My Village board member Connie Steele. "The parents came to parent night and of course tears running down their faces and said, 'But my baby has been here since she was six weeks old and now she's almost five,'" said My Village board member Connie Steele.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A South Knoxville day care center is closing its doors after recent changes in funding and enrollment.

My Village Childhood Development Center is located just off Willoughby Road in South Knoxville, where it's been providing childcare services for more than a decade.

Providing the highest level of child care has always been the center's mission, but over the last year and a half the facility has had to re-evaluate if it could continue doing so.

One key part of that was the attendance levels that have dropped down to only 35 students. At its highest level, attendance was almost double that.

"When we realized that it had dwindled down to that much, we were going to find it difficult to sustain the child care in the same way it had been sustained before," said My Village board member Connie Steele.

United Way has always been a big supporter of my village, but in the most recent round of funding, the organization was unable to supply the funds necessary to maintain the school's high standard of care.

"At that time, United Way could not fund fully-licensed teachers here in the center from infancy through third grade," said Steele.

Now, the board is working to place its staff of nine that will be out of a job come May 22.

But more importantly, they are trying to place the children - something that has been especially hard on parents. 

"The parents came to parent night and of course tears running down their faces and said, 'But my baby has been here since she was six weeks old and now she's almost five,'" said Steele.

While closing the doors is hard on everyone involved, the center wants to celebrate the work they've done over the last 15 years and invite everyone in the community to participate as the last Pre-K class graduates at the end of this school year.

The final graduation will be held on Friday, May 17 and the doors will officially close on May 22.

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