CALEXICO â€“ In an effort to continue assisting low income families and prepare young children for transitional kinder and kindergarten, the Calexico Housing Authority and the Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new ICOE Early Care and Education Program Day Care Center Thursday morning.
â€œThis is a great opportunity for two agencies in the Imperial Valley to work together and improve the educational system of Calexico,â€ said Richard Cordero, senior director of the ICOEâ€™s Early Care and Education Programs. â€œOne of our major goals is to target the children that live in this apartment complex and throughout the community. We feel that if we build a foundation when they are younger it makes it a lot easier.â€
The center is located at the Escalante Plaza at 1840 Rockwood Avenue, which is managed by the Calexico Housing Authority, where dozens of low-income families reside.
â€œWe were excited to open the daycare center in this apartment complex, because there currently are over 250 low-income families living here with children who need these types of services,â€ explained Cordero. â€œNot only that, but down the street is another low income complex with over 150 families, so this just seemed a logical place to open the center.â€
Cordero also said the census data makes Calexico a priority-one city, which means currently there are more eligible children for these services than what is currently provided.
The center will accommodate 38 children, ages three to five, with 19 children during the morning session and 19 children in the afternoon session. The morning session will run from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and the afternoon session from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
According to Cordero, the center will be fully operational early next week and already eight children have been enrolled in the program.
â€œThis is a blessing,â€ said Terry Nava, executive director for the Calexico Housing Authority. â€œCurrently there are scarce opportunities like this for children in this community and throughout Calexico.â€
Calexico Mayor Luis Castro thanked and expressed his gratitude to the ICOE for supporting the Calexico community.
ICOE operates 20 early care and education centers throughout Imperial County with a county-wide enrollment of 654 children. The new center in Calexico is a joint effort with the ICOE and the Housing Authority of Calexico and is located at one of the Housing Authorities properties.
â€œIt is very important that the community understands that education does not begin in kindergarten, it begins at a very early age,â€ said Cordero. â€œThese types of programs are perfect for younger children to help build a foundation for their future.â€
For further information on the early care and education centers located in Imperial County, contact the ICOE offices at 760-312-6431.[envira-gallery id=”84419″]