Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

UPARC, schools announce new child-care programs

The Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens (UPARC) and the Pinellas County school system have each announced new child-care programs that are open to the public. The UPARC program for children ages 4 months to 3 years old and without disabilities will be at the Long Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater.

Janet Cooley, UPARC's director of children's services, said the purpose of the new program is to enable the agency's handicapped children to interrelate with other children, who become role models for social behavior and for language and academic skills.

She said UPARC also hopes that programs such as this will reinforce the public's understanding of retardation.

Certified, college-educated teachers will work with the children on a 1-to-3 ratio in four classrooms.

Twelve children without disabilities will be accepted for the program, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $60 a week. UPARC plans to start the program this summer. Call Mrs. Cooley at 799-3330, Ext. 7409.

The school system's program for children ages 3 to 5 will be in portable classrooms at the new school administration building, opening soon on Fourth Street SW about two blocks south of West Bay Drive in Largo.

The program was created to provide a child-care facility for its own employees and, in a cooperative arrangement, for Largo city employees. But Alison Bellack, coordinator for partnership schools and child-care programs, said only 10 children have been signed up so far, but 20 are needed.

The program is modeled after existing child-care programs in various high schools, but its "student teachers" will come from the Pinellas Technical Education Center in High Point. They will work with a certified child-care teacher and aides.

The program will feature a low teacher-child ratio, recognized child-care curriculum, hot lunch and two snacks daily. It will operate from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year-round starting Aug. 15. The cost is $50 a week.

Call Mrs. Bellack at 585-9951, Ext. 225.