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Child-Care Center to Become a School

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

La Habra City School District’s only day-care center and preschool will be converted into an elementary school in 18 months.

Supt. Rich Hermann said Friday that the district’s class-size reduction program, a lack of funds for new buildings to house more classrooms and a growing enrollment are behind the conversion.

The move means that the 30 employees of Arbolita Child Care Center will have to find other jobs by July 1998.

Hermann said parents who use the center will have to make other arrangements for their children, but he expressed confidence that they will be able to find space at other child-care centers in the city. He said La Habra has several private day-care facilities and two city-run programs.

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“I think there are enough alternatives within the community to take care of the need,” Hermann said.

Before Arbolita is converted, a task force made up of people who live and work near or at the site will study the possibility of offering child care or a preschool program somewhere on district grounds.

The task force also will determine whether Arbolita will be for students in kindergarten through second grade only or will accommodate other grade levels as well.

Arbolita enrolled students in kindergarten through third grade until the district closed it in 1978. Through 1982, the 7 1/2-acre facility was rented out to a private preschool that went bankrupt. The district then took over the 16-classroom preschool and has funded the program ever since.

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Anyone interested in serving on the task force may call (310) 690-2300.


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