Over our 130 years we have stayed true to our mission of protecting and nurturing children and families while ensuring our services are meeting the needs of our community at the time. Over the past few years, we have recognized some challenges in our community. The Crisis Nursery has seen an increase in need through the pandemic, and with the nationwide formula shortage. We have doubled attendees to our parenting classes. DCFS has recognized the positive impact of our Family Advocacy Center on helping local families involved in the child welfare system and have asked us to increase our services to reach more families.
At the same time, we have seen like many other childcare providers the utilization of our Child Development Center continues to decrease in both attendance and enrollment of children. We have struggled with hiring and retaining teachers for many months leaving classrooms closed and operating costs significantly rising year over year. When we assessed program utilization, the Child Development Center provides services for less than 1/10 of our clients while accounting for 1/3 of the budget expenses. Therefore, with heavy hearts the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team have made the difficult decision to close the Child Development Center on December 30, 2022. This will allow us to re-allocate resources to serve more children and families in our Crisis Nursery and Family Services programs.
Jeff Gress, President & CEO stated, “Our Crisis Nursery, Family Services, and Family Advocacy Center will continue to assist local children and families in reaching their full potential. We have a plan to work with the families in the Child Development Center during the transition to find other care and to support our employees transition to other opportunities.”
Thanks to you for your support as we move into the next year knowing we will be able to say yes to more families in need while stewarding the resources provided to us.