Quality early education has been identified as a key factor for success later in life. But many communities in Southwestern Virginia don’t have enough daycare centers spots to go around.
Radford, Virginia is a university town full of young families, but with no place to nearby providing day care.
Agida Manizade: “In town full time infant care, 12 spots and our research shows that right now we have 96 infants in town.”
Agida Manizade is a math professor at Radford University. She and a dedicated group of volunteers formed a non-profit organization to bring an accredited day care center to town. Bethany Mott, a librarian at Radford University is working with her on the project. Mott says Radford has a high population of education focused people as well as low wealth families and they all need quality day care.
Bethany Mott: “Because of Radford’s demographics no one had come here because they looked at the community and said we’re not going to able to survive financially.”
A no interest loan from the Radford University foundation for two hundred ten thousand dollars has given RDC some clout when it comes to attracted one of the national day care chains. It’s allowed them to put out a request for proposals and they’re getting some bites.
Agida Manizade: “Depending on who is running the facility we want to make sure that the commitment that the managing company is making is long term. We’re interested in a partnership that is going to last 5 or 10 years at least and hopefully longer than that.”
Manizade says volunteer fundraisers are working to raise enough to help low income families with tuition. Radford Child Development is holding a fundraiser tonight. Bethany Mott says they hope to attract donations from people in town and beyond and from people who have children, because she says, well cared for and well educated children is good for everyone.
Bethany Mott: “It’s a matter of the heart and it’s also a matter of the head and we have to look at what kind of society we’re building and where we’d like to be 100 years from now, 50 years from now or even 20 years from now when these kids are going out in the workplace.”
Radford Child Development will soon choose a day care provider. The goal is to open a new childcare center with room for up124 children by August 2015.
To find out more about Radford Child Development go to our website. And you can also find details about tonight’s fundraiser at the University Provost’s house in town.