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Child care facility receives grants

Grant donations are helping a local parents association raise enough money to purchase the only child care facility in Prineville
Jeld-Wen Foundation dollars are made available to communities whereever there is a branch business. In Prineville that would be Amerititle. Darlene Allman, Vice President Amerititle recently presented Willows Child Care Center with a check in the amount of $25,000 to help the parents association purchase the building.
   Willows Child Care Center, the only fully certified year round child care center in Crook County, currently has about 70 children enrolled. Children who are enrolled fall between the ages of 6 weeks through 10 years.
   Cheri Skillings of Willows emphasized the importance of the facility in this community. "It's really important to have quality child care," she said. "If you're going to work you have to have reliable child care that's going to be open and available all of the time. This facility is really important to this community."
   In addition to offering safe and reliable child care to their clients, education is a priority as well. "Our philosophy is that this is an early childhood learning center," she said. "So, the children have preschool activities, and summer activities that keep them ready for school so that they don't lose ground."
   Originally built to the BLM/Forest Service specifications for a child care facility for the children of employees, the building has in the past been leased by BLM/Forest Service. After the BLM and Forest Service discontinued funding, the parents association decided to purchase the facility. With a technical assistance grant from the Shelk Foundation through the Oregon Community Foundation for $5,000, they began to apply for grant monies.
   Skillings indicated that the parents association has secured a loan for half the purchase price of $485,000 and are in the midst of a capital campaign to raise the remaining amount. Thus far they have received $11,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation, $15,000 from Helping Hands and now $25,000 from the Jeld- Wen Foundation. Parents have also made contributions toward the capital campaign leaving somewhere in the neighborhood of $184,000 yet to be raised before they can secure the building for purchase.
   According the Skillings, the Commission on Children and Families has been very helpful during this transition, helping with operating expenses and funding ideas. Community donations can be made to TWPS, P.O. Box 375, Prineville, or call 447-2234 for more information.