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PONTIAC - A parents group continues to work on starting its own day care to replace one that closed last year.

Parents Dedicated to Childcare banded together in October after learning Pontiac's only public day care, AdventureCare, would be closing.

Since then, members have been working to get money to start their own facility to serve 50 to 60 children.

On Saturday, the group will host its second pancake and sausage breakfast fund-raiser. President Julie Barnett said proceeds will be used to hire an architect to design a building and start-up costs.

"We are just looking for community support and for the community to know we are still working," she said. "There is such a need in the community (for a day care)."

The first breakfast raised about $1,000.

According to the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, early care and education contributed about $3 million to the Livingston County economy last year. There are about 1,700 children under 6 years old who have both parents working.

The network also says for every dollar invested in early care and education, about $17 in government costs is saved by reducing remedial education, crime and unemployment.

Barnett said those statistics show why it is important for the day care to be successful.

"I don't think that people understand the impact of a day care," she said. "If there isn't one, people are not going to live here, and they are not going to work here. If parents don't have a place to take their children, they won't come to Pontiac."

Barnett said the group currently is looking for land, possibly in the downtown Pontiac area, to make it centrally located.

The group also is working on finalizing its not-for-profit status and producing a flier about its plans.

Since AdventureCare closed, Barnett said parents have either found babysitters to watch their children or have quit their jobs.

"We are staying focused," she said. "We want to accomplish our final goal and start a day care as soon as possible."

AdventureCare was started with community efforts, but OSF St. James " John W. Albrecht Medical Center closed the facility when it did not break even financially.

The facility had been opened for more than two years and cared for about 55 children.


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