Child development center helping address statewide child care center shortage

Right Steps Child Development Centers is using money received from a grant to open multiple child care centers across Tippecanoe, Newton and Fountain Counties,

Posted: Jan 29, 2020 4:26 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Right Steps Child Development Centers is helping address Indiana's child care desert. These occur in areas where there is no more than one child care seat per every three children.

"Access to high quality child care, early care, infant-toddler spots are very very scarce,” said Purdue Clinical Assistant Professor Megan Purcell.

Purcell said this is an issue seen across the state.

"Every county in Indiana was deemed a child care desert at least in portion. Some of them higher than others,” said Purcell.

Right Steps was one of ten programs statewide receiving part of a $1,000,000 grant to help make child care more available.

CEO Debi DeBruyn said the $150,000 they received will open new child care centers across multiple counties.

"Right Steps will be opening two classrooms in Goodland, Indiana in Newton County. We're also helping a partnership between a church in Fountain County and the local school corporation there to open a big center,” said DeBruyn.

Lafayette will also see a new center open in downtown Lafayette.

Together, the centers will create more than 100 new seats for children.

DeBruyn said it's important every child has early access to educational programs.

"If we don't give children an opportunity to prepare for Kindergarten, then once they get in school, if they're not ready to start school, then they're behind the day they walk in,” said DeBruyn

DeBruyn said Lafayette's new center will open in late spring. It will be located at Right Steps's location at the corner of South and 8th Streets.

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