24-hour daycare is now a reality in Clark County. Not only is it bringing 46 new jobs to the area, it also helps parents who work late hours.
“I’ve never heard of 24 hour daycare,” said Alicia Benson who works in the Radiology Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hot Springs. “My hours vary; sometimes I work until 8pm, 10pm, sometimes I work during the day.”
That leaves Alicia scrambling to find someone to watch her two-year-old son Jace. “He’s enrolled at a daycare but they close at 5:30,” she says. “I always have to call someone to pick him up.”
She won’t have to make those calls anymore; Jace starts Clark County Child Care Wednesday.
Normally daycare centers don’t have full-sized beds for the kids to sleep on but because this is the first 24/7 daycare, beds are an important feature.
Governor Mike Beebe took part in the ribbon cutting and says this will help parents do their jobs without worrying.
“A momma’s first obligation, first concern, is with that child, and before that momma can go to work or to school, she’s gonna make sure that child is taken care of and cared for,” said Governor Beebe. “The childcare facility creates jobs and helps educationally. These are good programs that are more than just babysitting, they are actually exercising minds and improving skill levels.”
Aside form the great hours, Alicia loves that teachers will use a kindergarten readiness curriculum, making Jace ready for school in a few years.
Construction of the center was funded through a $690,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Right now 1900 people work in the major industrial businesses within Clark County. Before Clark County Child Care opened there were no child care providers open on nights or weekends.