MC Decides to Close Child Centers at Rockville, TP/SS

Children+play+in+the+MC+Rockville+campus+child+care+center.

PAUL BURK

Children play in the MC Rockville campus child care center.

On Nov. 16, 2015, an email was sent to the Montgomery College community from Dr. Monica Brown, Senior VP for Student Services, Dr. Sanjay Rai, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Janet Wormack, Senior VP for Administrative and Fiscal Services, saying that a decision was made to close the Child Centers at the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses at the end of this fiscal year.

However, the Child Center on the Germantown Campus will remain open. It will become an integral part of the pedagogy of the education program.

Children play in the MC Rockville campus child care center.
The Germantown childcare center, pictured here, will remain open and become a larger part of the educational programming.

The email states that for the past two months, the Dean of Education and Social Sciences, Dr. Darrin Campen, has been working with a team to develop a plan to have a state of the art learning laboratory at the Germantown campus.

The closing of the child center had a variety of factors that influenced the decision. Enrollment trends show that MC students use the centers less than employees and less than the community. The centers experienced a net loss of over 1 million dollars. Renovations for the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses would also cost nearly $1 million.The decision to close the Child Centers at the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring has made quite an impact.

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Entrance to child center at Rockville Credit: Enori Atsu
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Pathway leading up to child center Credit: Enori Atsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Advocate had chance to meet and talk to the Head-Start Lead Teacher Gale Pressman and discuss how closing the Child Center has impacted her.

“I think its a shock in hearing about it because we got short notice that it was going to happen,”said Pressman.

Pressman thinks its a great idea to turn the program into two classes. This will allow there to be a lab school and maybe have a head start program.

While Pressman praises this decision, she is frustrated that there is not being better funding to keep the Rockville program open because that location is on the main campus and it has been full to capacity.

Playground at Rockville's child center Credit: Enori Atsu
Playground at Rockville’s child center Credit: Enori Atsu

This supports the professors and students who are single or working parents at the campus and because of the closing of the center, it might be difficult for them to find another child care.

But, MC is making efforts to find care for children who were enrolled at TP/SS and Rockville campuses.

Children who were enrolled at TP/SS and Rockville will have “priority consideration for vacancies in the Germantown center…for Montgomery College employees who have children enrolled at either of the two centers that are closing, guidance will be provided on alternative childcare options in the community,” said Brown, Rai and Wormack.

The people involved in this decision say they will remain diligent in their efforts to assist all who are impacted by the closings of the centers located at the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses.

There has been a dedicated email account to which the college comminity can send comments and questions to:

EarlyChildhoodEd@montgomerycollege.edu

These questions will be used to create a FAQ document that will be posted to these websites:

Early Learning Centers:

http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/edu/department2.aspx?id=5056

School of Education:

http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/edu/department.aspx?id=10505