An Oasis in the Boyle County Child Care Desert?

At the risk of being redundant, I can’t let the events of last week go without additional

comment on how important each was for the future of Danville and Boyle County.


Most recently, representatives of the Danville-Boyle County Early Childhood Alliance

(DBECA) presented findings from its white paper on pre-school child care to the board of

the Economic Development Partnership (Develop Danville). The discussion recounted

statistics that have been cited here previously, including the fact that more than half of all

Boyle County children are not kindergarten ready when they enter school.


Why is that important to an economic development group? Because the generation of

workers new companies need tomorrow are the children in pre-school today. Workforce

development and career readiness are inextricably connected to a child’s ability to

learn—hard skills and soft skills.


Following the presentation, the Discover Danville board voted to sign on to a growing list of

individuals and organizations supporting the recommendations from the Alliance, which

distilled to a couple of key points are increasing capacity and quality. Those who have

signed on thus far include:

 Tom Poland

 Andrea Craft, Danville Schools

 Danville Schools Education Foundation and Alumni Association

 Mort Hoagland

 Mike LaFavers

 Amy Longwill

 Patten Priestley Mahler

 Susan Matherly

 The Reverend Amy Dafler Meaux

 Trinity Episcopal Church

 Mary Beth Ballard Murray


You can lend your support as well. Contact Amy Longwell at Heart of Kentucky United Way,

or drop me a note at the email below.


The second related event happened last Monday when the Danville School Board

authorized adding a fourth pre-school class to the district, which will create enough new

seats to serve 160 students in total. The difference in this classroom is that some positions

(20) will be open to serve tuition-based families in addition to the at-risk children who will

continue to be served.


There are more than 1,700 children in the county age 0-5. This is a small, but significant

step in the right direction. As a community, we can continue to make major progress toward

finding other oases in the child care desert, but it will take a commitment of time, talent, and

resources.


I ran into a friend at the grocery recently, and she reminded me that the money already exists

to make a difference regarding so many social issues, it’s just still in your pocket. You can

make that difference. Right now, it won’t even cost you a dime. Just lend your name and

support to the work of the DBECA (www.dbeca.org). Do your own homework by reviewing the


Alliance’s white paper:

(https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/30edb4_af4849eadd0d484caba23ce0cac2aea8.pdf).


Contact Amy or me to let your voice be heard in support of eradicating the child care issues

that confront our community each and every day. And remember, when the time does come

to make a monetary investment in early childhood development, the dollar you spend today

will return up to $17 in the future.


As always, go Ads!



This article originally appeared in the February 26, 2019 edition of The Advocate-Messenger.

© Copyright 2019 Danville Schools Education Foundation, Inc.