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The mission of the Clemson Child Development Center is to provide affordable, quality child care and preschool education. The Clemson Child Development Center fosters learning and development in an environment that appreciates diversity. Emphasis is also given to programs that strengthen the home environment, enabling families to provide the optimal development of their preschool children
In the South, in the 1960s, the public schools were integrating and there was no place for Black parents to take their children for early childhood development. Our nonprofit, the Clemson Child Development Center, was created by a group of local families, both Black and White, who saw this need and took steps to correct it. We began in January, 1969, with 20 children, 18 Black and 2 White.
Now, 40 years later, our Center still addresses the needs of ethnically and economically diverse parents and children by increasing their opportunities for quality, affordable early childhood education. Our enrollment capacity is 83 children. Over our 40-year history, we have sent 1000s of children off to "big school" with the necessary tools to be successful. We have also made it possible for our children's parents to hold a full-time job and/or to complete their education. This benefits the entire community/state/nation.
Nearly two-thirds of our families qualify for tuition assistance. Each year, we struggle to provide the necessary funds to meet this need. Lately we are not doing too well. South Carolina ranks in the top 3 in the country in unemployment. As the need has increased, donations have not kept up with demand. The vast majority of our donations come from individuals.
- Lori Terry
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