"We serve the whole family, not just the child," says Teresa Winnette, manager of the Bedford County Child Development Center.
The CDC provides comprehensive, early intervention services to meet the needs of developmentally challenged children ages birth to three years. On average, they serve 72 children each year.
This year, Winnette is faced with the same challenge as many businesses and households in a tough economy: Maintain the level and quality of services with less. Much less.
A January cut in funding from the Department of Education, coupled with an upcoming cut on July 1, will reduce the center's primary funding source by 50 percent.
"It's going to be a difficult couple of years while we restructure the entire program," said Winnette.
Already two longtime classroom assistants have been notified that their positions will be eliminated at the end of the month. Linda Johnson celebrated her 38th year with the CDC this week and Kim Prater has been with the center for nine years.
The CDC now has to rely more heavily on fundraising and contributions from the city and county, civic groups, churches and the area United Way.
"I know this is a very difficult time on businesses and organizations," said Winnette. "Everyone is struggling financially. We are asking for help. We've never turned a child away, and I don't want to be in that position."
The center's primary fundraiser each year is the Pencil Country Golf Classic. The 20th annual event will be held Aug. 8 at Riverbend Country Club. Registration and donor information are available at www.cdctn.org.