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Neighborhood House ends child care program, leaving families in limbo

Established in 1896, Neighborhood House has over a century’s worth of experience caring for local kids.

That’s a legacy that ends in August.

“We are sorry ourselves to see the program go,” says CEO Becky Rossman.

Neighborhood House announced this week they’re ending their Summer, morning- and after-school child care programs on August 9th.

Rossman says the decision was primarily financial, due to a combination of what she calls a surplus of other child care providers in the area with a shrinking pool of kids to pull from.

“We’re all kind of facing the same issues. I think, by us stopping this particular program, it’s going to help the other centers do better,” said Rossman.

The House will still offer a summer meal program for kids in the area, but the roughly 70 families enrolled in their scheduled program will need to find an alternative.

“We all want to see the community do better,” added Rossman. “We’re not really in competition with each other, we always try to help…because we know what’s better for our families and better for the community.”

Despite Rossman’s confidence that other centers will benefit, Jeff Gress – CEO of Crittenton Centers – believes it’s local families who get the short end of the deal.

“A lot of these child development centers are kind of strategically placed,” he explained. “Not everyone has the ability to drive or take the bus, they’re foot traffic. So removing that out of that neighborhood is going to be kind of significant, I think.”

Crittenton has offered to help absorb some of the families impacted by the program’s end.

Anyone interested in enrollment or who wants more information should call (309) 674-0105 and ask for Taylor Seals.

Neighborhood House also offers a similar program at Illini Bluffs in Glasford that will be ending the same day.

We have been told Superintendent Alvey is pursuing alternatives.

Mason Dowling

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