Tanaina Child Development Center reopens in permanent location

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Tanaina Child Development Center reopened in its new, permanent home, after facing eviction three years ago from UAA due to budget cuts.

At a grand opening ceremony held Friday morning, leaders with Tanaina said it moved into the Alaska Regional Hospital campus with the assistance of multiple groups.

Amanda Smodey, the center's executive director, said it's a resource not only for hospital families, but the community as well.

"It teaches the children to love themselves – it's just so important to know there's a quality place," Smodey said. "I think it gives parents a sense of security knowing there's a quality place that heir kids are spending the day, and they're learning something as well."

Julie Taylor, CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital, said it's a resource that will help meet a big need.

"There is a shortage of child care coverage and even a step up from that is child development," Taylor said. "That's what makes Tanaina so special – it's actually child development, and not having that available certainly creates a hardship for a community."

While the center has reopened to serve children 12-months--old to 6-years-old, it has launched an effort to fundraise to create a space for infants.

"We discovered the need or an infant care space, so we're trying to raise $150,000 to build that space out and then serve 16 families," Smodey said.

If you'd like to make a donation to Tanaina Child Development Center, you can contact the organization at its Go Fund Me website .

The group hopes to have the money gathered by May 1, 2018.

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