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Monday, Mar 4, 2024

Professor Clarifies Addison County Childcare Situation

Author: [no author name found]

I am writing in response to the article written by Kelsey Rinehart regarding child care in the Sept. 25 issue of The Campus. The article raises some important concerns about childcare in general, but I am concerned that the headline of the article, ''Quality Child Care Shortage Causes Frustration Among Parents,'' does not acknowledge the very real gains that have been made, through the leadership of the College, in providing more childcare options in Addison County.
The College's childcare initiative resulted in the addition of College Street Childcare Center and the Little Houses Network to the superb childcare facilities already in place in Addison County. There are now 33 additional places for children in high quality childcare. Ron Liebowitz, executive vice president and provost of the College, and I met recently with some of the parties involved in the initiative and found that the critical need for infant care has been addressed; both Otter Creek Childcare Center and College Street Childcare Center report that they have been able to offer childcare to all families currently seeking care for infants. This is a significant accomplishment, as I am sure the families who currently utilize this care will tell you.
For somewhat older children (ages 3-5), there is currently a wait list of families seeking care at the local centers. The directors of these centers report, however, that most of these families currently have care for their children but are seeking to move their children to a different child care setting. Thus, the need at this point is not as dire as the infant care shortage of a few years ago.
I applaud the College's support of local providers and continued leadership on this important issue.

Susan Campbell is associate professor and chair, department of psychology.