By SARAH BRADBURY
Radford Child Development Inc., a non-profit organization created by the Radford University Child Development Task Force, is bringing the highest quality National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited child care to Radford and the surrounding region.
The organization is in the fundraising stage of building the center and is partnering with Children’s Creative Learning Centers, a company that provides child care programming at the University of Virginia, University of Rochester and Oregon Health and Science University.
Dr. Agida Manizade, president of the Board of Radford Child Development Inc., says there are state and federal grants for which they can apply, but their deadlines are in January and March, which poses the concern of not getting funds in time. “The program is designed to benefit all families in Radford and surrounding areas. RCD Inc. is also seeking funds to provide scholarships for low income families,” said Manizade.
Radford Child Development Inc. is committed to raising $300,000 to purchase materials and supplies for the center. There are two options for the location of the center; Radford University Foundation has offered space in RU West in Fairlawn and a local real estate developer has offered to provide a lease with free land on Tyler Avenue for the construction of the center.
“It’s very important for children to be in a child development center that is accredited. This ensures that our children are gaining not only safe care but educationally stimulating care,” says Manizade.
Radford Child Development Inc. is responding to the demonstrated acute need for quality NAEYC accredited child care in Radford and the New River Valley. A task force conducted a survey in November 2012. There were 1,337 respondents, and more than 1,230 of these were from RU faculty, staff and students.
Ninety-three percent of respondents indicated a child care facility should be available near campus, and 337 parents had difficulty finding quality child care. More than 220 parents indicated that they were likely or very likely to enroll their young children in Radford Child Development Center, when established.
The demographics of Radford University faculty and staff are dramatically changing now and will continue to change even more rapidly in the next five years. More than 40 percent of RU faculty and 27 percent of RU staff are likely to retire within the five years. New hires at RU are overwhelmingly young families with children.
In addition, there is an increasing need for child care for RU students. With the development and growth of graduate programs at the university, the student population continues to evolve to include non-traditional students with families. The Radford Child Development Center will serve all members of the City of Radford and New River Valley communities.
NAEYC accreditation guarantees that the Radford Child Development Center will adhere to the highest standards of child care and early childhood education. Since 1985, NAEYC’s national accreditation system has set professional standards for early childhood education programs, allowing families to find high-quality programs for their children.
“The Community Foundation has long been aware of the need for more high quality child care options in Radford, and the impressive needs assessment done by Radford Child Development, Inc. makes that need all the more clear,” said Jessica Wirgau, executive director of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, when commenting on the importance of this partnership fulfilling a long-standing and vital need in the community. “We are proud to partner with Radford Child Development, Inc. to accept donations and make this new center a reality for our community.”
The organization is partnering with The Community Foundation of the New River Valley as its fiscal agent. Therefore, all donations made to Radford Child Development Inc. to benefit the creation of the center are tax deductible.
“We are determined to bring this much needed facility to Radford. The New River Valley does not have many child care options, and it is very difficult for young families to find quality care,” said Manizade. “This facility will offer educationally sound care for young children in Radford and its surrounding communities.”
For more information about Radford Child Development Inc. and the creation of a Radford Child Development Center contact Dr. Agida Manizade at (434) 227-7196.
To donate funds to Radford Child Development Inc., visit cfnrv.org/donate. Select your desired amount and frequency of donation, then choose the option “I would like my (our) donation to benefit a fund” under the heading “Donation Designation.” Scroll down to Radford Child Development Inc. Follow the instructions listed below to make a tax deductible donation.