Mayor Coleen J. Seng today recognized CEDARS Youth Services for assuming management of the Downtown Early Childhood Development Center at 1100 “N” Street. Family Services, which had managed the center, worked with CEDARS to take over operations.
“With so many working parents, child care is a major issue in our community,” said Mayor Seng. “This child care center is especially important for parents working downtown, and we are very pleased that we have been able to keep this important service operating without interruption for those families who depend on it.”
“I want to thank the City, the United Way and the Lincoln Action Program for working with us as partners to keep this important service available for children and families,” said Jim Blue, CEO and President of CEDARS Youth Services. “CEDARS believes that children learn best when they are in a caring environment and have a strong bond with their caretaker. Our programs give children and families an opportunity to actively participate in decision making.”
The need for more child care services downtown was identified in the early 1990s as part of the Star Venture community planning effort. To fund construction, a campaign raised $150,000, which was matched by the City, the owner of the property.
CEDARS Downtown Early Childhood Development Center will serve up to 42 children from birth through age 5 in newly remodeled classrooms. Last year, CEDARS early childhood development programs served 485 children, a 32 percent increase over the previous year. Blue said the need for these services is evident in the additional 750 calls received by CEDARS from families seeking quality child care. CEDARS operates seven other early childhood development programs.
CEDARS is a private, non-profit organization offering programs in Lincoln, Beatrice, Broken Bow, and McCook. Its services include emergency shelters and youth homes, foster care, early childhood development, juvenile justice, family support and outreach. More information on CEDARS is available by calling 402-434-KIDS or visiting the CEDARS web site at www.cedars-kids.org.