Community action child care opens near Columbus

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Polk County commissioners were updated last week about a child care center for low income and single families that is now open near Columbus.
Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) is serving 36 Polk County children providing an early head start for underpriviledged families. The center, located at the shopping center off Hwy. 108 between Lynn and Columbus, serves 16 Polk County children at the center and 20 families that are home based.
WCCA is a federally funded, non-profit that serves Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. The organization assists families that are disadvantaged and low-income. The Head Start program in Polk does health and developmental screenings, parent education, child care and developmentally appropriate learning for children. Teachers at the Columbus center have a 1 to 4 teacher student ratio and all teachers are certified. Two teachers go to homes once a week for four hours. The program is for children up to three years old. After age three, children can enter the Polk County preschool programs.
Commissioner Warren Watson asked WCCA members to attend the county meeting last week, saying he was asked a few months ago to join the WCCA board.
David White and Jennifer Ellenberg, with the WCCA reviewed the program saying the program also gives single family housing rehabilitation. The housing rehabilitation being done in Polk was through a $200,000 grant. The federal block grant also provides counseling, rent payments, utility payments, tuition and other supports currently to 14 Polk families. During the last nine months, WCCA has spent over $22,000 in community block grant funds in Polk County and plans to spend another $15,000 before this Sept. 30. The early Head Start program has employed four Polk County residents and spent nearly $100,000 starting the Columbus center with over $350,000 planned to be spent each year including for payroll, rent and supplies for the center.
The commom mission of community action agencies throughout North Carolina are to help low-income people become self-sufficient. Community action agencies are nonprofit organizations created by President Lyndon B. Johnsons signing of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.


Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox