Agency Funds Construction of Cal State San Marcos Center for Children & FamiliesThe First 5 Commission of San Diego County has approved a grant of $7,681,356 to fund construction of the Center for Children and Families at California State University San Marcos. Funding comes from tobacco tax revenues.
The grant comes just as the campus is wrestling with ways to continue its current child care program. The Early Learning Center, operated by Associated Students, Inc. in rented space off campus, must relocate. The facility serves about 50 families and is licensed for 48 children. The structure is owned by the City of San Marcos, which would like to end the lease. Plans for a move have prompted a discussion of how to continue the program. Associated Students council voted Friday, April 23 to place a fee increase before students during the fall 2004 semester. The proposal was later approved by the Student Fee Advisory Committee, allowing the fee referendum to be placed before students.
The new 20,000 square-foot facility would be constructed on land provided by Cal State San Marcos. The complex will replace the old Performing Arts Annex, located along La Moree Road south of its intersection with Barham Drive, on the east end of the campus. The site is close to a station planned for the North County Transit District’s “Sprinter” light rail project. Under a preliminary plan submitted with the grant request, construction would begin in August 2005 and the building would be open in early 2007.
The Center for Children and Families will be licensed to serve 190 children from infants to pre-kindergartners. Through a combination of full-time and part-time attendance, the total number of families served is expected to be 300. Programs will focus on preparing children for success in school, parent education, as well as speech, language and literacy development.
The Center will work collaboratively with university academic programs. Basic health screening will be provided for children through collaboration with the emerging campus nursing program. The College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the newly developing College of Health and Human Services will use the Center for practicum and observation experiences. Most classrooms for children will have observation capabilities for use by parents and university students.
A Parent Resource Center will be dedicated to instruction in parent and early childhood education. Areas of play-yard space will be provided for each age group. An adjacent parking area will provide pick-up and drop-off and spaces for 40 vehicles.
Contact: Rick Moore, 760-750-4011
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