WJTV

Virden Early Childhood Development Center Closing

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Later this week, the City of Jackson will be closing one of its early childhood development centers.

The city says the move will save them close to $301,000.

“Here you are, used to this center in this community. Now we are moving them to some other neighborhood with other children. That leads to a sense of fear.”

Ward Three City Councilman Kenneth Stokes fights back against a decision to close the Virden Early Childhood Development Center.

“You hate it because when you think of the young children who live in Virden addition, you know they are already somewhat afraid and then we can come to a center that is in their neighborhood it makes them feel little more comfortable,” said Stokes.

A city representative sent us a statement saying all of children from Virden will move to Westside Early Childhood Development Center.

They also tell us the teachers and aides teachers will move to either Mary C. Jones or Westside.

Virden will lose a cook and an administrator in the move.

“It is a sad day to be closing any early childhood development centers; having individuals losing their jobs because life goes on. Life really goes on, in my heart bleeds because it just seems that the priorities are a little bit twisted in the city,” said Brenda Scott with MASE/CWA.

Some leaders tell us they aren’t happy with the move because the number of children who benefit from the center justify keeping it open.

Others say there should have been more planning to keep this from being necessary.

“At the end of the day, we’re told the building needed work, and the numbers were struggling. There were just over 20 students there.”

“It is hard in this day and time to be without a job and not being able to pay house note, mortgages and buy you a car and feed your children. It’s hard. We have to compete. We have to be able to compete with the churches, private daycare centers and we have to move away from being babysitters and get them prepared for school,” said Stokes.

Employees from the Virden Childhood Development Center were given letters earlier this month letting them know about the change.