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Imani Family Center's potential closure could mean tough choices for Over-the-Rhine parents

Posted at 7:52 PM, Mar 16, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Imani Family Center has provided hundreds of Over-the-Rhine kindergarteners and preschoolers with after-school care since its establishment in 2001, but a lack of grant funding means it may not survive through 2018.

Norman Dean, whose son attends the family center after school, said the potential closure means he could be forced to make some difficult choices.

"Being a single parent, it's not like there are a lot of people I know who could just take him until I get off work," he said. "That would be one of the biggest impacts right there."

So did mother Latonya Payne. Without the help provided by Imani, she said she'll need to stay home with her three young children herself -- which means stopping her job search. 

"When you work, you don't want to lose your job because you don't have a babysitter," she said."

Kim Ginn at 4C for Children works to help single parents find affordable child care. It's not just about assisting individuals, she said -- parents' access to reliable child care affects children's emotional health as well as the surrounding area's economy.

"If we do not have childcare for working families, they cannot work," she said. "It also provides them a peace of mind."

Imani Family Center is asking online for donations to compensate for the loss of grant funding. Parents seeking affordable, reliable childcare can also consult 4C for Children's free database to find an option that suits them.