RADFORD, Va. - Finding child care in the New River Valley has been a tough task for parents for years.
According to the Alliance for Better Child Care Strategies, in 2015 the U.S. Census showed that 65 percent of children under 6 in the New River Valley had both parents working.
In the Radford area, an early learning center is celebrating success but also planning for its next phase of growth.
"Anything you can possibly want for a family life is here, except for childcare," said Agida Manizade, president of Radford Child Development, Inc.
Manizade runs Radford Child Development. The nonprofit spent years gathering community and corporate partners to bring the Radford Early Learning Center to the area. Now the nonprofit is focused on a new goal.
"With the help of everyone in the community we were able to construct the facility, now we need the same type of involvement to build tuition funds so the kids who can't afford to come are able to come to the facility," said Manizade.
Carilion Clinic is the first organization to step up and donate $5,000 to help cover tuition costs, another step in addressing the needs of parents in the New River Valley, needs that aren't going away.
In fact, the Radford Early Learning Center has about 140 spots and all of those are filled.
"The reason we filled in the first 90 days is because there's a need. The reason we already have a waiting list, even though we're a new center, is because there's a need," said Manizade.
The Radford Early Learning Center, operated by Rainbow Child Care Center, has been such a success that the industry veteran is opening up a similar facility in Blacksburg later this year, an expansion of child care coverage in an area that desperately needs it.
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