Parents in Douglas County need only make one phone call to find professional day care for their children.
The Douglas County Child Development Assn. provides a variety of services including day-care tuition scholarships, and a resource and referral service that deals with more than 150 licensed homes and centers throughout the county.
Working parents in Douglas County who cannot afford day care do not have to quit work to stay home with their children. Since 1972, the association has provided money for day-care service to working parents and parents still in school.
Jan Brummell, director of the Child Development Assn., said the main goal of the program is to keep parents in the work force or school, and off welfare.
``People tend to give up their jobs because they can't afford day care for their children,'' Brummell said. ``We want people to have the opportunity to work. This affords them that dignity.''
Scholarships are given based on a sliding scale according to parents' income. Both parents must be working or in school to qualify, Brummell said. More than 150 children receive scholarships each year.
THE ASSOCIATION also provides a resource and referral service that is free to parents in Douglas County. The service started two years ago under the United Way.
The association keeps in contact with more than 130 registered child-care homes and 20 centers to find out which ones have space available. Parents, in turn, contact the association to find a vacancy with one phone call.
``We serve as a linkage between parents and providers,'' Brummell said.
An association representative visits every licensed home and center three times a year so parents can be assured of quality, Brummell said.
In addition to these services available to parents, the association has a resource center to assist care-providers. Monthly training sessions are given on various topics concerning child behavior and development.
Training sessions for this year are focused on anti-bias programs, Brummell said. Many multicultural and non-bias teaching techniques are presented to care-providers, who bring these methods to their day care.
TEACHERS also can call for advice or suggestions that concern their day-to-day problems with children.
``Today a teacher called in to ask what to do about a child who bites,'' Brummell said. ``We get a variety of problems and we try to offer help.
``Today, day care is a lot more than baby-sitting.''
An annual allocation of $59,266 from the United Way of Douglas County makes up approximately 20 percent of the Douglas County Child Development Assn. budget. This money goes specifically to fund the day-care scholarships and part of the resource and referral service. The Rice Foundation also helps to fund the referral service.
Additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays for a Child Care Food Program started in 1981. Under this program, licensed day-care providers are reimbursed for food given to children in their care. The food must meet certain nutritional criteria.
The Douglas County Child Development Assn., 2619 W. Sixth, Suite B, is open Mon.-Thurs. 8:30-noon, and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; Fri. 8:30 a.m.-noon, or by appointment.