City-run daycare center gives non-residents a break

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Parents needing before or after school daycare are getting a break from the City of Rocklin but it’s only for those who live outside the city. The City is prepared to wave non-resident fees for the city sponsored day care, Kids Junction, operated at the city’s elementary schools. “I think this is a worthwhile adventure,” said Council member George Magnuson. The Kids Junction program is a state licensed, fee-based recreation program that offers safe and supervised activities for children enrolled in Kindergarten through 6th grade, according to the city’s website. Last month, two Valley View Elementary teachers complained to council about what they said were unnecessary premium for non-residents. They said the 25-percent difference in cost amounted to about $300 more a month for two kids. The Council along with the Recreation Commission unanimously voted to recommend the non-resident fee be waved not only for teachers working in Rocklin but any non-Rocklin citizen looking to enroll their children in the Kids Junction program. Mayor Scott Yuill was concerned the level playing field would limit the amount of space available for Rocklin residents. But that’s not a problem right now, according to city officials. The program has 420 children enrolled with room for 700. The fiscal impact will be virtually non-existent as enrollment continues to rise, according to Assistant City Manager Mark Reimer. “If we enroll three more (non-residents) children we’d pretty much have a wash,” Reimer said. “We feel it is an important thing to do in this economic climate.” Council member Brett Storey said the city shouldn’t be in the business of daycare, but under the circumstances, is doing a service to Rocklin residents. “We’re doing this because it is a good program but it’s not necessarily a government service that has to continue. I don’t want to see it getting in the way of more priority services.” It could take a while to get relief for parents. The change in fees is expected to be in force by next school year.