The day care’s closure has raised another, larger issue that stretches throughout the community.
“We’re all of a sudden faced with the realization that we have a strong need in Ottumwa for quality day care,” Schuttlefield said. “Whatever happens with this or not, the need is still very great. This is a time, also, where we can use this as education of the fact that we need quality day care in Ottumwa, no matter who’s running it.”
There is a greater need for child care today than there was 30 years ago, Lindenmayer said.
“I don’t know in general if our culture kept pace with that need,” he said, due to the change in household dynamics, where either both parents work or the mother or father in single-parent families has to work.
The center’s closure does not mean the college’s child development center is in danger of closing, he said.
“The decision to close was the hospital’s prerogative,” he said. “It will only affect us in the aspect that it’ll put more stress on [the college] facility as far as providing services. There’s a lack of that in our community, and we already had a waiting list for our facility. Now there are 74 children that will be looking for additional day care, and we’re going to try to accommodate some, but we can’t accommodate all.”