Alternative to daycare opens in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Alternative to daycare opens in Tucson

Alternative to daycare opens in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Unified School District opened its doors for its Infant and Early Learning Center Tuesday.

Two former elementary schools are now home to the new nonprofit centers, one at the Brichta Center in the west side and the other at the Schumaker Center in the east side.

The learning center acts as a duo daycare and preschool center. It is designed for infants and children ages 2 to 5, or Pre-K age.

The curriculum fosters early social and cognitive development as well as transitions young children into the public school system, according to program coordinator Rachell Hochheim.

"By offering them quality early childhood, we're guaranteeing that a certain pocket of those kids will be ready for kindergarten, ready to learn," Hochheim said.

Hochheim said the tuition costs at the Early Learning Centers are roughly 60 percent less than the average cost of child care elsewhere in Tucson.

At the Brichta Center, tuition fees for the public are $495 for children age 2, and $450 for children ages 3 to Pre-K. Infant care at the center is only available to employees of TUSD.

Tuition fees for TUSD employees to enroll their infants at the center is $445, $395 to enroll their children age 2, and $350 to enroll their children ages 3 to Pre-K.

The affordability helps working families but also helps retain TUSD teachers who are also moms.

"A very significant reason why people leave education is because it costs a lot to pay for childcare and they could just stay home with their children while they're young, so this really attracts teachers," Hochheim said.

Classrooms at both locations have been refurbished for the new center, complete with cribs, toys, books, new furniture and a new security system.

The staff offers daycare from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on registration: http://tusd1.org/contents/depart/earlylearning/enroll.asp

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
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