COS child care services are in jeopardy

March 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The College of the Sequoias has used the Heart of the Valley church to house their child care services for almost two years now. But the school's lease is up for renewal and officials had to make a decision on its future.

The child development center at the College of the Sequoias remains closed after mold was discovered inside the facility in 2011. Since then, child care services moved off campus to a nearby church, where many COS students take advantage of the low-cost services.

"My daughter goes to the program," said Kori Shipman. "And I don't trust my daughter going anywhere else. I don't have anybody to watch my daughter."

But Monday night, the school's board of trustees had to make a decision to either renew or not renew its lease with the church.

COS President Stan Carrizosa said, "The program as a whole has been declining in enrollment, struggling fiscally over the last several years."

Currently, there are around 50 children enrolled in the program, that's down from previous years. Administrators say if the lease was extended, the school would lose $150 thousand in revenue.

Child Care Center Director Dianne Pilgrim said, "I understand with the way the funding is, they don't have a place for us either. They don't know what they're going to do with the building."

In the end, the board voted not to renew the contract.

"Which means the child care center portion of the program will be closed down," said Carrizosa. "And that will result unfortunately in some employee layoffs."

A total of 11 employees will be out of a job by this summer, and students will have to make new arrangements for daycare, while the original facility is treated for mold.

Administrators say they want to bring back a child care center to campus, but it could take several years. Until then students will have to find another day care center.