Child care center to open in Lawrence ‘desert’

Local

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A new child care facility called Freedom Academy at The Reset Center will open in December.

It boasts the most affordable rates for families in a child care desert.

Data from the Center for American Progress shows 55% of Hoosiers live in a child care desert and 12, 265 children younger than 5 live in a child care desert in Lawrence. The median family income is $16,900 surrounding The Reset Center at 4330 N. Post Road.

Probia Latimore is a church member at the center and has enrolled her 4-year-old daughter to attend Freedom Academy.

“You either have places that are really expensive or you do have some places that are cheaper, but you may not be getting the best care for your child,” Latimore said. “It’s sometimes one of those situations ‘you get what you pay for’ or it may just be really far away.”

Howard Harding, executive director and pastor of The Reset Center, told News 8 that it’s trying to bring quality and affordable child care to underserved Lawrence.

“So the parent now can get to a place where they’re comfortable with their child being in a certain place, but they can go out and make the necessary revenue and resources they need to do to be able to take care of the family.”

Harding said that no parent will pay more than $125 a week per child. It’s a huge weight lifted off Latimore’s shoulders.

“You always need child care, even as small as Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, spring break or fall break. Parents still have to go to work and kids are still going to need some type of child care unless they’re of age to stay home by themselves,” the mother said.

Freedom Academy plans to teach basic educational skills in a structured environment. There’s also a designated room with rubber flooring for children 2 and younger.

The center’s director also said, “There’s a huge Latino population here in the city of Lawrence, 17% percent, which is the highest in the state. Some of our instructors are bilingual so we’re going to teach them both English and in Spanish. Basic words like ‘good morning,’ their ABC’s and how to count to 10.”

The Reset Center said it also plans to build another Freedom Academy in the next two to three years on its 6.5 acres of land.

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