Local leaders advocate for more childcare options – Oxford Observer

Day care options are expanding in Oxford, in response to what community leaders say is a growing need.

Last month, Oxford City Council hired an additional full-time preschool teacher for the TRI Community Center preschool program, at 6025 Fairfield Road, which recently began offering day care throughout the year. The center can accommodate 14 children Monday through Friday. The new teacher will start work in August, said Casey Wooddell, director of Oxford Parks and Recreation.

A new, state-licensed home care center in Oxford is enrolling up to six pre-K children for the start of its school year in August. The Omnibus Early Learning Program, run by Mary Piper at 2691A Miamiview Court, slides parents on a sliding scale based on parental income.

“We hear about it from the community; we hear about it from council meetings; we see it on social media pages, ”Wooddell said of the pronounced need for childcare. “We knew the question was going to go away.”

Deputy Mayor Chantel Raghu said the city may be able to address the situation by changing its zoning regulations to allow larger day care centers in more areas or by finding grants to help fund day care and after-school programs.

“I feel like people at least over the last decade or so have talked about how challenging it is to find,” Raghu said. “Because it is very expensive, it is difficult to find and we just do not have enough options in town.”

Piper, a 2021 Miami University graduate, said she decided to open a daycare after hearing about the growing demand and limited space for childcare in the Oxford area, including the recent closure of a daycare at College Corner Pike.

“I knew Young Leaders had closed somewhat recently, and one of the schools I worked for recently increased their tuition to keep up with inflation,” Piper said. “And so when a place closes, and other places become more expensive and families go back to work after a pandemic, it can be kind of a difficult situation.”

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