These are lean times for the Methodist Childcare Center in Mullens.
It takes $6,000 per month to cover costs, according to Trina Carte, director of the center since February.
There are currently 16 children ages 2-12 enrolled there. They get breakfast, lunch and a snack every day.
During the school year, there is a mix of children who are there all day and others who come to the center after school.
“We have some children from Pineville coming now, but rest are from the Mullens area,” Carte remarked.
Fundraising activities are being held to help the facility.
All proceeds collected at The Way Youth Center on Sunday went to the childcare center. And a benefit gospel sing will be held in August.
Carte says it would be a hardship for many families if the center closed.
“We had to close on bad weather days in the winter, and that was a hardship,” Carte pointed out.
She says directing the center “is a blessing. Working with children is like no other job.”
“We have a board of directors,” she commented. “Everything I do goes through the board.”
“I think there will always be a need for childcare,” said Donna Wikel, a member of the board.
Enrollment has dropped over the years, she noted, “because there were more jobs in the area in the past than there are now.”
“This is a ministry of the United Methodist Church of Mullens,” Wikel explained. “We want to serve God by serving people in the community.”
Carte noted that center employees are required to have 15 hours of training yearly, covering subjects such as child abuse, behavorial management, First Aid and CPR.
Background checks are done on people who apply to work there.
Anyone interested in having a child enrolled at the childcare center must to fill out an application. The child’s immunization records and a physical are also necessary.
The cost is $20 per day.
Wikel is optimistic the center will survive. “The Lord has blessed us for 12 years,” she said. “We’ve been through lean times before.”
To learn more, call the center at 304-294-7500 or fax 304-294-7501.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.