DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - November 30, 2007

Danville extends preschool loan

Childcare funds helped parent co-op buy a home

by Jordan M. Doronila

The Town of Danville earlier this month extended the loan repayment time for the Valley Parent Preschool - the only parent cooperative preschool in Danville - for another five years.

"It's a hidden jewel," said Tina Eplin, director of the preschool. "A lot of people don't know about us."

The Town Council approved the loan extension at its meeting Nov. 6. Danville had allocated the $93,000 loan in 1996 from its Childcare Fund so Valley Parent Preschool could purchase a new facility at 935 Camino Ramon.

The preschool is a co-op where staff is paid and parents volunteer their time.

"It's such a wonderful resource in the community," Eplin said. "When parents come in with their children, it's an instant family."

The town previously had extended the loan repayment period in 2002. Now, the school's second extension gives it the opportunity to repay the original principal loan.

"The challenge is owning our own facility and making those mortgage payments," Eplin said.

Valley Parent Preschool has made all its payments on time, said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.

"I've heard positive things from people involved in that particular school," said Calabrigo. "It's relatively unique. It's been around a long time."

The town's Childcare Fund, which collects money from developers' fees, started 20 years ago.

"The town identified that there was a childcare shortage in Danville, and the time coincided with the population booming with young children," Calabrigo said.

The town designed the fund to finance potential childcare services including but not limited to shelter, food and education. There is currently $65,000 in the fund, Calabrigo said.

Valley Parent Preschool operated out of St. Timothy's Church at that time and had to relocate because the church needed its space. The school needed help to finance its new facility, and it approached the town in 1996, Calabrigo said, so the council helped, using the Childcare Fund.

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