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New child center coming to downtown Winchester

Bo Harris and Liz Fountain are hoping to make a difference with their new business, the Clark County Child Development Center.

The center will operate as a daycare during its day hours and as a community center in the evenings.

Fountain said the idea for the center came about from her 10 years owning and operating a childcare center.

“I just have a love for children,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for kids.”

Harris, on the other hand, has been involved in community athletics and programs for several years.

The two had been thinking about buying a larger space as they saw the opportunities for youth begin to decrease after the YMCA closed and other programs falter.

Fountain said they wanted to be a part of the solution of providing positive experiences for the youth in the community.

“We had the idea for a while,” she said. “And then we found this building and honestly, we love the location.”

The couple is currently working on the building and getting it ready to hopefully open before 2019, Fountain said. The center will be at the former Thoroughbred Gymnastics building, next to Leeds Center for the Arts.

Fountain said she’s excited to be opening the Clark County Child Development Center (C3DC) downtown.

“There are a lot of positive things going on in Winchester, especially in the downtown area,” Fountain said. “There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on down here.”

For its community center aspect, Fountain said C3DC plans to eventually offer after hour classes such as fitness classes, culinary classes and gym time for adults as well as teens.

C3DC will have numerous rooms for the different age groups as well as enrichment rooms such as a culinary kitchen, tech room, basketball court and tumbling room. Fountain said they are also putting a small playground out back.

Students will learn and rotate through the multiple learning environments, taking classes on culinary, gym, art, music, basic tumbling skills and more.

Fountain said the center would also offer Harris Hoops developmental classes and other youth development leagues. Harris said they would also like to provide a mentor program in the future.

Every student will also have a college fund through the center. The center will deposit a portion of each tuition payment into the fund for every child enrolled at the Clark County Child Development Center.

The center will focus on a variety of educational programming including social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language skills.

The center is also partnering with local farmers to provide fresh fruits and vegetables during meal time to all children enrolled.

Fountain said another unique aspect of the center is its door drop off service. Parents and guardians can sign-in their child and let the center’s staff handle the rest.

The center will employ about 28 staff members at the start, but Fountain said there would likely be more added as the center grows. C3DC is currently hiring for full-time and part-time positions ranging from assistant teachers, aides, preschool teachers, infant teachers, lead teachers and transportation drivers. The center is also looking for community volunteers.

Fountain said the center would accept students between the ages of 6 weeks old to 12-years-old for its daycare program.

The weekly rates are as follows:

— Infant 6 weeks to 2 years old; $150

— Toddler 2 to 3 years old; $135

— Preschool 3 to 5 years old; Full-time $115 and part-time $90

— School Age 5 to 12 years old; Full time $100 and part-time $80

A non-refundable initial registration fee of $50 a child and $85 per family is due upon enrollment.

Fountain said C3DC allows drop-ins if there is availability; the drop-in rate is $40 a day.

If parents are late picking up their child at 6 p.m. or the hours exceed the 10-hour maximum a day, C3DC will charge a $1 per minute per child to the account. C3DC will be open for childcare from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fountain discounts are also available. C3DC offers a 10 percent discount to families who enroll multiple children. C3DC applies the discount to the lowest tuition rate. C3DC also provides a 10 percent discount to all military and government employees.

Fountain said C3DC is also offering an employee-childcare partnership. Employers can sponsor a child at C3DC and pay partial or full tuition for that child.

Harris said C3DC is also hoping to paint a mural on its side wall facing Dairy Queen, to emphasize the start of the arts district as well as to bring fun to the center’s exterior.

Fountain said the goal of C3DC is to ensure every child feels safe, loved and secure.

“We hope to bring a positive atmosphere, a positive childcare experience to the community to help the kids and to give them opportunity, a change,” Fountain said. “You have to be the difference in the youth of Clark County.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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