Carroll County workers will get another chance to fill 16 spaces in the day care center their employer provides, before the county opens the slots to other parents.
County commissioners voted yesterday to send a letter to all department heads to alert employees that the center has 16 vacancies.
If any more county employees want to enroll their children in the center, they must sign up by mid-August. After that point, any vacancies will be offered to employees at the Carroll County Health Department, Carroll County Public Library and the Agricultural Center.
Employees of those agencies were eligible until two years ago, when enrollment began to increase. Some of them still have children there, and their co-workers want that opportunity also, said Jolene Sullivan, director of citizen services for the county.
All those agencies receive some county money, and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said there was only a fine line between their employees and county employees.
The commissioners also agreed to continue a policy that once enrolled, children at the center will not be bumped in favor of county employees' children later.
Carroll Child Care Centers, the nonprofit, private agency that runs the center, had requested allowing some outside children with the offer that they could be bumped later if county employees needed the spot, Ms. Sullivan said.
Commissioners Julia Gouge and Donald Dell strongly objected to bumping, saying it would be difficult for the children and parents.
Enrollment dropped by 10 children since summer began, down to 16. The maximum capacity for the current staff is 32 children, although the center is large enough for up to 40 children if additional staff members are hired.
Ms. Sullivan told commissioners the enrollment drop is probably because of the season, when some parents are home with their children. But she said that to keep paying the staff, the center will need to fill the spaces.
The commissioners provide the building on Greenwood Street a block from the county offices, and employees pay a sliding fee for the day care based on their income.