Davis County school leaders haven't heard the last of a day-care owner who wanted to operate a summer program in an empty elementary school.
Connie Millecam, owner of ABC Child Development Center, says she'll try to change the minds of school board members who denied her request two weeks ago to use a room at Wasatch Elementary in Clearfield.ABC had asked for space to provide day care for several economically disadvantaged children whose parents work during the day. But school board members voted unanimously against the proposal, saying they didn't want to mix public business with private interests.
Millecam won't make her appeal alone. Representatives from the state PTA and Division of Human Services will join her in an attempt to convince the board that it needs to consider day care for school-age children.
"I think it is a very wise use of public buildings. And it serves a real need that is recognized by the state and the federal government," said Julie Olson, program specialist for the Division of Human Services. Olson said she'll tell leaders that programs similar to the one proposed by ABC are working in other districts throughout the state.
"It's rather shortsighted to think that it will hurt the district or private enterprise," she said.
Carbon County School District, for example, allows private contractors to operate in six empty school buildings during the summer months, she said. "It's working successfully because it's meeting the needs of families."
ABC proposed using one of two empty rooms this summer at Wasatch from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., five days a week for $20 each day. More than half of the 25 children who would have attended the day care are supported financially in part by the state Department of Social Services.
"These kids are out of school and need a place to go," Millecam said. "Most come from homes with just a single working mom. We've tried to promise (parents) that we'd take care of them."
The program is designed for 6- to 12-year-olds and includes activities like field trips, swimming and dance lessons, camp crafts and computer instruction.
ABC can afford to pay $20 a day for rent but not much more. "We'd probably break even at that," Millecam said, noting that federal programs provide only $150 per month for each child.
The state PTA supports the proposal "all the way," said Sal Jansson, chairwoman of a PTA committee organized to deal with day care for school-age children. "I don't think (school board members) realize how involved their community is in this issue," she said.
Millecam hopes to appeal to the board at its next meeting, July 13.