Budgetary cutbacks by the State of California have forced the Child & Family Center Board of Directors to end the daycare program it has provided to working families for the past 20 years effective June 30, according to the nonprofit organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Darrell Paulk.
Technically, the closure results from the decision of the organization’s Board not to renew its contract with the State to provide the Kids Corner Preschool program. According to Paulk, were it not for the State funding cutbacks, this step would not have to be taken. Continued operation of the program would have resulted in an annual loss in excess of $150,000 and anticipated further State cuts would have made this amount significantly larger.
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“Although we know it is the right decision under the circumstances, it nevertheless is a very emotional one. We are committed to making the closure as seamless as possible for the children, families and staff affected by the decision,” Paulk said.
While closure of the daycare program will affect approximately 70 families, Child & Family Center is working with the local elementary school districts, Head Start, College of the Canyons, and other agencies and organizations to find alternate solutions for the affected families.
Additionally, 12 positions, which represent approximately six percent of Child & Family Center’s total workforce, will be eliminated as a result of the closing of the preschool program. Center management has committed to assist those whose positions are eliminated to obtain alternate employment.
According to Paulk, “The Board, Center management, and every staff member, are extremely regretful that the daycare program has to be ended after 20 years, but without question the overall financial stability and services offered by Child & Family Center would be endangered if this program was not eliminated.”
The Kids Corner Preschool is not a daycare program offered to the public. It is designed to assist working parents below a certain income level; the State refers eligible participants.
All of Child & Family Center’s other 15-plus programs are unaffected by this action, but the agency continues to deal with continuing financial stresses due to current and anticipated State budget cutbacks.
Child & Family Center provides mental health and behavioral intervention services for children, teens, adults and their families. Since 1976, the Center has helped thousands of people overcome various issues, and each week more than 850 local individuals receive treatment for depression, anger, anxiety, abuse, thoughts of suicide, and drug and alcohol addictions, among other disorders. In addition to its five local locations, Child & Family Center also has therapists on elementary, junior high and high school campuses throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.