Published On: Thu, Jun 29th, 2017

Cardinal Child Development Center will be more than just a daycare

RANDOLPH — Members of the new non-profit board steering the new child development center here were pleased with the school board’s decision last week to partner on the new Randolph program.
They were, however, quick to point out that the project is not a daycare designed to compete with existing in-home programs.
“If the project was designed to be in competition with present daycares, I wouldn’t be involved and likely the other board members wouldn’t be either,” said Board president Josh Rayford,  “We’re trying to make a program that will be consistently open year-round and offer a curriculum-based child development center.”
The program was the compromise proposal between a private daycare operation and a Rule 11 taxpayer funded child development program.  Both options were  considered by the school board before the non-profit model was presented last month.  Mark Korth, a child development center board member said he became involved with the project when he realized the potential of the program but saw a better way than funding it through Rule 11 tax dollars.  “I think a Rule 11 option could be a very expensive possibility for the taxpayers.  This nonprofit approach should be a much more cost-effective way to educate and care for our children.  It will require some donations from many people, but should be a fraction of the cost compared to a Rule 11 taxpayer approach.”
Following the school board approval, the new board invited daycare providers in the community to a sit-down session.  The hour-long meeting was an opportunity for the participants to become acquainted with one other and invite them to consider working with the new board in making childcare better in Randolph.  Conversation varied from rates to hours and program format.
During the meeting with local providers, Kim Wattier, Cardinals Childcare board member offered a seat on the non-profit board to the daycare owners and an invitation to work on the project was extended.  Wattier, co-owner of Wattier True Value with her husband Scott, have long supported the childcare program.  Wattier said, “We have lost 4 employees because of no childcare and some have moved out of town because of no childcare.  Every meeting my husband and I attend, childcare in Randolph is in the top 5 of needs for the town.”
Articles of incorporation and bylaws have been sent to Lincoln for recognition by the state and 501c3 non-profit status has been initiated.  Board member Dan Tunink confirmed that, “While the non-profit status will take some time to be approved, the Randolph Area Community Foundation can receive tax-deductible donations on behalf of the child development center.”
“A key to the child development program is the non-profit status we chose to use as a business model,” said Rayford.  “Everything is centered around the child’s care for the most affordable rate possible with no one involved in a profit scheme.  Partnering with the school for space allows us to concentrate all our financial resources for hiring the best personnel possible for teaching the child from infancy up to the date he or she enters the public school system.”
Next steps call for organizing fundraising and image building for better understanding of why a child development center is different than regular daycare.  When completed, the new facility will be open for 254 days a year and is forecast to enroll 20 infants and toddlers the first year.  An opening date has not yet been set.