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ECRMC opens child development center

April 29, 2002|STAFF WRITER

Employees of El Centro Regional Medical Center have a state-licensed facility at which to leave their pre-school children during work hours.

The hospital's child development Center, at 1215 Ross Ave., less than a block from the hospital, opened Monday, said David B. Selman, the hospital's chief executive officer. He said the facility has been inspected and a state license to operate has been received.

The center is in a former residence renovated to accommodate up to 36 children from 2 to 5 years old. An open house for the public is tentatively scheduled for early May.

Selman said opening the center "shows an ongoing commitment by the board of trustees and the administrative team to provide the best work place possible for our employees." The next phase of the project will be to provide a facility for the care of infants up to 2 years old.


Selman announced the center will be directed by Jeannie West of El Centro, who has had 23 years of experience in child care. For 17 years West was the director of the Westminister Day School, operated under the auspices of the former First Presbyterian Church. She has served as the administrator of the It's a Small World day care center for Faith Assembly in Imperial and at one time worked for the Central Union High School day care center.

West said the new facility will be open from 5:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a beginning staff of three fully qualified teachers, with more added as needed. She said the hours were designed to fit the needs of employees, many of whom work 12-hour shifts.

"We also felt there might be some night-shift employees whose spouses could drop children early to permit the employee to get home and sleep before returning to pick up the child."

West said the facility has a large, fenced-in back yard with the latest in playground equipment to stimulate both indoor and outdoor activities. The playground equipment was purchased through a $10,000 donation from the women's auxiliary, she said.

Philip Ricker, who recently contributed more than $100,000 to Imperial Valley College to underwrite nursing and emergency medical technician scholarship programs, also was a significant contributor to the new child development center.

West said the center will operate on a "per-day" basis with fees based on the number of hours a child is in attendance. To further accommodate employees, she said, fees may be paid through payroll deduction.

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