November 20, 2012
Without the assistance of Melita Day Child Development Center, Kaylen Newton, of Nelson, wouldn’t be able to work.
Newton is an administrative assistant in the assessment center at State Fair Community College and the mother of two young daughters. When Emma, now 4, was born, Newton wasn’t sure of what she should do. She heard about the services of Melita Day through the college.
“I didn’t have any other resource or anyone else to watch her,” she said. Both Newton and her husband work full-time. Even though her mother-in-law lives in Hughesville, she knew she couldn’t ask her to take on that responsibility.
“I wouldn’t be able to work if it wasn’t for Melita Day. I don’t have any family around here in the Sedalia area,” Newton said.
Emma started attending Melita Day when she was 6 weeks old.
“The people that work there, they take care of your kids just like they were their own,” she said. “When Emma was little, I was able to go up on my lunch and I could sit for an hour to watch her. It was comforting to know they were right there.”
Emma’s younger sister, Kelsey, started attending Melita Day when she was 9 weeks old. She’s 2 years old now. They both enjoy the variety of activities the center offers.
Melita Day Nursery was founded in 1910 by two ministers and a group of women from Sedalia. They were concerned about children whose mothers had to seek employment outside the home. The nursery moved to several locations over the years before State Fair Community College remodeled the old student union building on its campus. In August 1996, Melita Day opened at its current location.
“Melita is unique because we are the only not-for-profit, accredited center in Sedalia. It is the only center that offers a sliding scale for families who qualify,” said Kathi Moore, director of the center. “We are also the only center in town that provides care for the students and staff at State Fair Community College based on their class schedule.”
Melita is governed by a volunteer board of directors who focus on the mission of providing quality day care at the lowest possible prices. Enrollment at Melita is open to any family within the community and is a center-based partner for Early Head Start.
“The money Melita receives from the United Way is very important and used to cover the high costs of utilities for the building as well as to offset the lower sliding fees for families who qualify,” Moore said.
Melita is licensed for 60 children ages 6 weeks up to school age. For Newton, next year will be tough because Emma will be in kindergarten at Northwest Elementary School, while Kelsey will still be at Melita.
“I chose Melita mainly for me because of the location. I couldn’t praise Kathi enough. They are all like family to me up there,” Newton said.