Local News

Popular Raleigh Day Care Plans To Make Changes

Posted April 14, 2005

— In two months, 20 teachers must find new jobs and 40 families a new place to care for their children.

The news came Tuesday in a letter. The Methodist Home for Children, which runs the Jordan Center in Raleigh, is making sweeping changes to save money.

"We have been operating for the last several years in a deficit, and we have been putting in over $1 million of invested funds to run our entire program, and we can no longer do that because our invested funds have been depleted," said the Rev. Mike Safley, president of the Methodist Home For Children.

As a result, classrooms for the youngest children have been eliminated, as well as four staff positions. Those positions include specialists who work with autistic and other children with special needs who are integrated into mainstream classes -- something the Jordan Center has been praised for.

"We have decided to go back to the model where these children can be included in our classrooms, but may receive services from folks from outside in the community," said Anne Carver, director of the Jordan Center.

Sharon Agresta said her son has thrived in Jordan's inclusive environment.

"My child is not going to be that much affected because he's going to kindergarten in the fall, but I hate to think that some other child out there that could really benefit from being in an inclusive environment is not going to get the same opportunity that my child had," she said.

Parents said they were blindsided by the letter, leaving them just two months to find day care when many quality centers have waiting lists up to six months or more. Elizabeth Grovenstein hopes to find space in a center at her husband's office.

"About a month ago, they offered Michael a space in that daycare and I turned it down because we're so happy here at Jordan, and we just love the Jordan Center," Grovenstein said. "He's had a wonderful experience here."

Parents will meet with Jordan Center officials Wednesday to try and find some solutions.


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