New Autism Center Replacing Child Care Center in Davenport

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On March 31st, 2014, the QC Child Development Center (QCCDC) in Davenport is closing.

On Thursday, February 27th, 2014, a letter was passed out to parents stating:

"The QC Child Development Center was recently approached with a tremendous opportunity for local families. In January, the ownership was presented with an offer to purchase the property and assets, even though the facility was NOT marketed for sale. As a result, a difficult decision has been made to discontinue operations effective March 31, 2014."

"I'm just bummed because now I'm going to have to probably try to find another job and a different daycare for my kids and so it's going to be hard - really hard," says Susan Dexter, who works at the QCCDC as a Teacher's Aid and whose children go to the QCCDC before and after school.

"We're going to have to decide whether or not we're going to take him to a new place or, you know, it's so close to the end of the school year maybe just call it quits so he doesn't have to get reacquainted with new friends," says Mike Ziebell, whose son attends Pre-K at the QCCDC.

A non-profit organization will take over the spot. The Homestead is based in Central Iowa and provides services for people with autism.

Executive Director, Steve Muller, says they have expanded to Clive, Iowa and the Cedar Rapids area and they're excited to expand to the Quad City area.

"We're glad that we found a space that will be easily accessible to the families," he told News 8's Angie Sharp. "It's centrally located between Davenport and Bettendorf along the corridor that gets access to across the river and it should be a great location for us."

"We expect that children may come to us from 25 to 30 miles away."

Muller says they are already looking for families to help. If interested, he says to call Dan Budd at (515) 957-3344.

"We've already gotten some great response from the community," he says. "There're some wonderful professionals who are doing some interesting things with autism and that's great and we want to supplement that. We want to complement those opportunities."

The letter from the QCCDC sent home with parents say "the facility was NOT marketed for sale." However, Muller says it was for them.

"The ownership had expressed a strong concern for doing what was right for their current kids and making sure that transition happened," he said. "It was brought to us as an option to purchase and it turned out to be the right option."

Muller says he plans to re-open the building in July 2014 and hire 20-25 people over the next 12 months.

"I'm sorry for those that are struggling," he says. "It was not our intent to dislocate anybody, but this is a great opportunity. It was the right price. It was an efficient use of our resources to take a kid-friendly space and use it for kids in the community that are still not having their needs met and we're looking forward to getting in there and working with some wonderful kids."

Meanwhile, the QC Child Development Center in Silvis, Illinois will stay open, according to Dexter.

The QCCDC in Davenport is holding two meetings next week for parents to meet with Parent Services Specialists from Child Care Resource and Referral. The meetings are Monday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 6th, both from 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.