Hospital Won't Close Center for Ill Kids

A day-care center for ill children, available to county employees and workers at 30 companies, will not shut down this month after all, county officials said Thursday.

Ventura County Medical Center had planned to close Hickory Dickory Doc, located in a bungalow behind the Ventura hospital, on May 18 because of budget cuts.

The hospital decided to postpone the closure until January after county officials urged that the center remain open so other sites and other funding sources can be explored.

Faye Hall, a hospital administrative officer, said the hospital notified the Board of Supervisors on Monday that the layoff notice given the center's one full-time employee had been rescinded and that the hospital will work with the board on the problem.

County officials have known for some time that the center would eventually have to vacate its site on hospital grounds because the bungalow is scheduled to be torn down in June, 1994, to make way for a parking garage.

The center is open to county workers and employees at the firms that pay to use it through a consortium called the Alliance for Child Care Solutions.

Debra Bergevin, county child-care coordinator, said the goal is to relocate the center as soon as possible to a portion of an existing day-care center.

The center operates at a loss to the hospital. Bergevin said about $20,000 is needed to operate it through the end of the year.

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