State Fair Community College’s Board of Trustees voted in closed session on Tuesday to end its agreement with Melita Day Child Development Center at the end of year.

According to an announcement on State Fair Community College's website, in 1996, SFCC received a grant to renovate the student union into a 7,500-square-foot child care facility. At the same time, the college entered into an agreement with Melita Day Child Development Center that allowed the organization to continue to provide child care services to the community, as well as to SFCC students and employees.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

SFCC President, Dr. Joanna Anderson, said that she could only comment on the cost to the college, adding that SFCC has maintained the facility and provided the space for Melita Day, rent free, for nearly 21 years.

Melita Day is owned and operated by a volunteer board of directors, and paid staff manages the day-to-day operations. The center provides care to about 68 children from 6-weeks to 6-years old, according to the media release.

In addition to paying staff salaries and its own operational expenses, the center is responsible for paying utilities to the college for the 75 percent of the building that it occupies and for obtaining and maintaining Missouri accreditation and state licensure."

When asked if SFCC had any future plans for the Melita Day space, Dr. Anderson said. "we don't really have any plans for the facility at this time" She added that space is a premium on the campus, and the the college will review the facility, in conjunction with all of the college's needs.

Anderson noted that SFCC's fiscal year ended in June, and at that time, the agreement with Melita Day was due to be reviewed and could be ended. She also said that the fiscal aspect was only part of the decision to end the agreement.

The Sedalia Democrat reported that Anne Gardner, president of Melita Day, wrote the following:

“July 25, the executive members of the Melita Day board and Elizabeth May, director, met with the SFCC Board of Trustees. Both Boards had signed a three-year contract in July of 2015 that provided for a yearly review. At the time of the yearly review either board had the right to terminate the contract early.

“Later that Afternoon, Dr. JoAnna Anderson and Dr. Brent Bates advised President Anne Gardner that the SFCC Board had in fact voted to terminate the contract as of Dec. 31, 2017, or six months earlier. This means Melita Day will have to vacate its location at SFCC no later than December 31.”

Gardner said Melita Day will remain open as long as possible but it is “difficult to say if they can remain open until the end of December," as reported by the Sedalia Democrat.

The Melita Day Board is looking for a new facility. But there are certain state criteria that must be met. Gardner told the Democrat, 'I don’t have a lot of answers to all of the questions right now.'

In a statement from SFCC Board of Trustees President, Randall Eaton, “After much consideration, the board has decided to end the agreement with Melita Day. We appreciate the opportunity that our students and employees have had to use their services, and we are hopeful that the center can re-open in another location by the end of the year.”

The agreement will come to an end on December 31, 2017.

*Part of the information in this article comes from the Sedalia Democrat*

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