United Way spotlight

United Way spotlight An agency which receives funding from United Way of Vermillion will be featured in this spotlight each week. The United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors wants you, the people of Vermillion, to know more about the agencies that receive United Way funding and the services which they provide to the Vermillion community.

This week's featured agency is the John and Connie Vucurevich Children's Center (formerly known as the Mathilda Geppert Childcare Center).

While the center receives the majority of its operating income from the fees paid by parents for childcare, United Way of Vermillion is an important partner for the Children's Center. A grant from the United Way was instrumental in opening the center's Mathilda Geppert Infant/Toddler Program last February. This coming year the United Way is providing a start-up grant for a new program that will award childcare tuition subsidies to low-income and student parents who are not eligible for other forms of childcare assistance.

The mission of the Childcare Center is to promote the continuous well-being of the children of The University of South Dakota's student-parents while they pursue their own education in order to better provide for their families, as well as of the children of USD faculty and staff, and children from the greater Vermillion community by providing quality, safe, stimulating childcare in a child-centered environment.

The curriculum at the center focuses primarily on the developmental needs of the children and is based upon research on how young children learn. All concepts, activities, and teaching strategies are designed to foster and to enrich the intellectual, emotional, and physical growth of the children as well as to enhance the development of their social skills. All children are provided with opportunities to develop the necessary age-appropriate skills to become independent and autonomous individuals with anti-bias attitudes.

The John and Connie Vucurevich Children's Center will be formally dedicated on Sept. 30. A generous gift from the Vucurevichs has funded the remodeling of the former Vermillion Golf Course clubhouse building into a state-of-the-art childcare center. A gift from USD alumni Bill and Bob Matousek is being used to establish the Bill and Bob Matousek Pre-School Program.

The new building for the center will allow all of the programs of the Children's Center to be under one roof for the first time. The new center will be licensed to care for twice as many children as the current location and will meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The following programs are available at the Vucurevich Children's Center:

The Mathilda Geppert Infant/Toddler Program, the Bill and Bob Matousek Full Day Pre-School Program, the After School Program, After-Hour Evening Care and the Summer Program.

For further information about the programs at the Children's Center, please contact Merle Eintracht, childcare coordinator at 677-6880.

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