Difficult decision to close doors

Leeta-Rose Ballester

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[media-credit id=5 align=”alignnone” width=”400″]Difficult decision to close doors[/media-credit]

Child Development Center children celebrate ice cream day on April 5 with Mrs. Maria’s class (K-1).

A recommendation that the Child Development Center must close at the end of June was announced to the college community in an email presented by San Jose City College President Barbara Kavalier on April 1.

According to Kavalier’s email, a district review of the center was conducted last year. That review found that SJCC has “insufficient funds to cover all costs associated with the CDC.”

Kavalier addressed the age and condition of the building, writing that it requires “significant maintenance with no funding to cover the costs.” SJCC received one licensing citation in fall 2010 indicating that the CDC “could become a risk to the health, safety or personal rights of children if not corrected.”

Kavalier said the decision to close the CDC was “very difficult and distressful” and one that she “had not anticipated making so soon.”

Kavalier wrote, “We are committed to bringing back childcare services to SJCC and have begun building a plan for the future of the center.”

CDC supervisor, Marcia Chaves, said the CDC was built in 1979 and currently serves 64 children.

“This is a service to our students who go to school full-time,” said Chavez. “Statistics show that college students do better when child care is on campus.”

Monette Reyes, ECE instructor, said that closing the CDC will affect not only the parents who enroll their children for care, but also the early childhood education program.

“For students who are enrolled in the practicum and student teaching classes, these are our main labs for doing this,” said Reyes. “We rely on our classrooms for easy access. Some students have no resources to visit off campus. These courses are required for state licensing and for students to get their permits.”

Reyes said she is unsure about SJCC’s plan for rebuilding the CDC and said, “It is incredibly expensive to start from the ground up, and with budget restrictions, I don’t think this is going to happen at this point.”

“I know this decision is a done deal, but I want their promise of the future of CDC. We want discussion with the President to explain the importance,” said Reyes.

Aristotle Aquinde, 19, accounting major, was surprised by the proposal to close the CDC.

“That’s one of the best qualities our school offers.” Aquinde said. “They will be losing a good asset for the school.”