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Madison proposes rescue plan to save struggling south side day care

Published On: Aug 01 2013 09:29:34 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 02 2013 12:52:10 PM CDT

The city is recommending a rescue plan that could save a longtime day care that serves low-income families.

Madison's Community Development confirms the Board of Estimates wants to give a $34,000 grant to Child Development Inc., a nonprofit that first opened in 1965.

Like its families, the south side facility is also struggling financially, and its board president said the money will put them back on track.

Susan Krug said enrollment is also down. The center is licensed for 90 children, but Krug said there are about 40-45 there now. She blames a poor economy for the decline.

"It's been difficult for parents who use our facility to get jobs or continue with their jobs," said Krug.

Shanita Lawrence's two children have gone to CDI for years.

"It's always been here so, that was why I decided to have my kids go here because it's been in our community forever," said Lawrence, who's employed, but the single mother qualifies for assistance.

She pays $60 every two weeks for child care at CDI, like a lot of the other families it serves.

Plus, the center gave up its accreditation and with it went 30 percent of its funding and its five-star rating. To rebound from a two-star rating costs even more and increases CDI's financial burden. Krug said CDI is losing money every month.

"We need support, we need support from the community, from Madison, if not the south side of Madison, to recognize the need and if that translates into money, we'll welcome it," said Krug.

"My kids love this place and their teachers love them and it's the one place I really trust to take care of my kids," said Lawrence.

The city said the money came from a loan the borrower unexpectedly paid off after the city finalized its budget. The extra $400,000 went to various expenses. The last of it, the $34,000, would go to CDI if the council approves it at its next meeting on Tuesday.

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