The ground breaking ceremony for the Gloria S. Ainsworth Daycare Center’s new building Friday was a multi-generational affair that included both respected community leaders and tiny daycare participants.

 


The ground breaking ceremony for the Gloria S. Ainsworth Daycare Center’s new building Friday was a multi-generational affair that included both respected community leaders and tiny daycare participants.


“Thanks to the incredible generosity of local foundations and our community businesses and individuals, the funds for the structure have been raised,” poard president Janice Parsons said.


Parsons said construction will begin as soon as possible and the new center should be completed by the fall of 2009. The new 21,000-square-foot facility will be located on the site of the former Ardmore City Schools’ Early Childhood Center on Martin Luther King Boulevard directly east of Fraley Park.


The need for a new center is based on several factors, including the need for more room to accommodate all the local families who require child care. Parsons said the new facility will allow the center to increase its enrollment from 98 to 198 children at full capacity. The center is currently operating at 1220 L St. NE in a 50-year-old building owned by the Warren Memorial United Methodist Church.


Parsons said the center is the only nonprofit daycare center in the Carter County area that accepts families who are assisted by the Department of Human Services.


“This daycare fills a serious need in our community, providing daycare for working families who fall below the poverty line,” she said. “Many are single parents who must work and care for their children with little or no assistance from extended family. Some are working multiple jobs to pay their bills. In many cases, both parents are working, some in opposite shifts because daycare is not available or affordable.”


The center is now open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Parsons said one of the board’s future goals is to offer childcare on a 24-hour basis to accommodate parents who work at one of the local industries that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


“The goal of the new center will be to not only offer childcare at the highest standard, but also to assure that parents have the resources and assistance they might need to create a happy, healthy, successful family environment,” she said.


Parsons said funds are still needed for things like kitchen equipment, classroom and office furnishings, educational supplies and playground equipment, however, the center’s fund raising efforts have been suspended until the end of the community’s United Way campaign.


In addition to Parsons, the center’s board members are Ginny Little, Angela Bradsher, Ted Gilbert, Debbie Lackey, MaryAnn Wilkes, Rick Fridrick, Nathan Verner, Dana Chapman, Rheba Henderson, Brad Dierlam, Carol Smith and Paul Pitts. The center director is Sally Murray.


Steve Biehn, 221-6546
steve.biehn@ardmoreite.com