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shemb1@uis.edu

 

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UIS child care center receives grant for infant/toddler programs

March 27, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Cox Children’s Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield has received a reimbursement grant of more than $8,000 from Quality Counts 2005-2006, a project sponsored by Community Child Care Connection and the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Quality Counts grants are designed to encourage facilities to focus on programming in areas of high demand. They also encourage and recognize programs that offer and sustain high quality care for all children equally.

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Cox Children's Center

Cox Center director Stacey Hembrough explained, “My focus in applying for the grant was on improving the quality of care we offer.” She said the grant will be used to fund purchases of equipment for infants and toddlers, including additional cribs/cots, strollers, and mobiles, plus a variety of toys, furniture, and books. 

“Our program received extra consideration because we serve children and families receiving IDHS financial assistance, for being a full-year program, and for being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children,” she said.

The infant room at Cox Children’s Center currently serves eight infants and is staffed with two full-time teachers and a student worker.  Hembrough said the facility is licensed for 12 infants and would like to increase enrollment. “This grant will allow us to enroll 12 infants in the fall if we choose to, without any necessary additional funding.  We have been at 100% capacity in the infant room since we opened in the fall of 2005, and maintain a very long waiting list,” she said.

“Currently, 78% of our infant enrollment and 89% of our toddler enrollment is comprised of children of UIS students, faculty, and staff,” said Hembrough. “Students are given priority on our waiting list.  Expanding our infant enrollment will enable us to serve more UIS students/staff and to do our part in supporting the growth that the campus is experiencing.”

Priority for Quality Counts grants is given to applicants that address any of the program’s statewide priorities, including increasing the capacity for, or improving the quality of care for infants/toddlers or school-age children and/or creating or maintaining the ability to care for children with special needs.

For more information, contact Hembrough at 206-6610.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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