For working parents in isolated rural communities, quality child care is a lifeline that allows them an opportunity to obtain employment so they can provide for their families.
So when USDA Rural Development was approached by a child development center in Eastern Kentucky that was in need of expansion so it could serve parents on a waiting list, the agency provided a $75,000 Community Facilities grant.
The center hosted an open house on May 21 to celebrate the new addition, inviting local, state and federal officials that had a hand in making it happen.
Kentucky USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern participated in the program and expressed his congratulations and support for such an important and worthwhile project.
Fern said this project highlights the Obama Administration’s focus on programs for improving education and child care, emphasizing the center’s role in the community as not only a daycare facility, but as a quality learning center.
Appalachian Early Child Development Center opened in 2003 in Letcher County, which is one of Kentucky’s 43 persistent poverty counties. The USDA funding allowed the child care center operators to build a new 600 square-foot classroom and install a handicapped accessible bathroom. The classroom addition has allowed the center to increase enrollment by 16 children.
“With the new classroom, we went from an enrollment of 22 to 38 and took in three new children last week,” said Administrator Bonita Adams. “The grant from Rural Development gave us an opportunity to serve more children, and maintain a quality center.”