Waterloo daycare closing worries teen parents - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo daycare closing worries teen parents

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Changes are coming to the Waterloo School District and it has some students worried about childcare.  Roots & Wings is a district-run daycare at Expo High School.  Expo is moving this fall but the daycare isn't.  It's closing and the students who use it are concerned that will lead some of their peers to drop out.

Alqueisha Campbell is enjoying spending time with her 15-month old Vonnea.  Most days Alqueisha is in class at Expo High School while Vonnea's next door at Roots & Wings Daycare.  Campbell says it takes some of the pressure off knowing she can check on her little one at any time during the day.

"I feel comfortable leaving here there because I know that if I feel like anything is wrong, I can just walk out there and be in her room and see what she's doing. I can always step in and see what's going on, look through the window and make sure everything is okay," said Campbell.

But after this school year, the district is moving Expo to another building.  Roots & Wings won't move.  It'll close due to budget reasons.

"The district had been subsidizing the daycare at Expo. We know it's an important service. Students need it. We're going to work with them to make sure they do have it," said district spokeswoman Sharon Miller.

Currently, teen parents who are students in the district can take their children to Roots & Wings.  Transportation is provided.  Now, Campbell worries she and other classmates will have a hard time finding a new provider and may have trouble getting a ride to school.

"If we didn't have the daycare, I think the teen dropout rate would go up because that's where everybody takes their kids to. DHS will only pay for daycare if you're in school and who's going to hold a spot open for us? Most daycares won't hold a spot open for us," said Campbell.

"It just won't be a district provided daycare. We'll work with any student who needs the daycare on an individual basis to make sure that that student and the child get good quality daycare in a cost-effective way at a location that makes sense for that student," said Miller.

This fall, the district is centralizing its alternative education programs at the current McKinstry building.  It will also begin the Performance-Based Learning Academy program there which will lead to further staffing cuts.

Online Anchor/ReporterBob Waters

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