Valley Daycares Close

August 29, 2008 8:44:09 PM PDT
Clovis assembly leader Mike Villines wants to pass a continuous resolution to fund these daycare centers. Even if such a temporary bill were to pass today it still wouldn't put kids back in daycare for at least another couple weeks.Several weeks will most likely pass before 3-year old Paula Rono will see her teacher again at Madera's early childhood education center. This low income daycare and seven others like it in the Valley are closing because there's no money from the state to fund it right now. Paula's mother has very limited financial options.

"I'm a single parent and it helps her to be with other kids to learn stuff and I don't think it's fair they're trying to shut this place down," said Rono.

And it's not just hard on parents, for many teachers here this is their only source of income. Jacqueline Vargas hopes state legislators decide on a budget soon to keep teachers in the classroom.

"We're not sure if we're gonna get recalled back because of budget cuts. We're not sure if all of us are gonna be called back. So I think mainly that's our concern," said Vargas.

It costs $5.8 million for the non-profit organization I-5 Social Services to run these daycare centers. Clovis republican assembly leader Mike Villines said he may have a solution to help these children. Villines proposed a continuous resolution to fund this program until a fiscal budget is decided but Villines says democrats won't consider it.

"I think it's disingenuous and frankly I think it's mean spirited towards working people for the democrats not to bring that bill to the floor and say yes let's do this. To use them as a pawn is a mistake," said Villines.

But Fresno democratic assembly member Juan Arambula said his party is looking to settle the budget and not just one issue.

"It's getting more than just a bit embarrassing. It's getting to the point where innocent people are beginning to be affected," said Arambula.

A total of 700 children are expected to be without day care on Monday. And 200 employees from I-5 services will be without a job as well.

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