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Puzzle Center pieces together childcare

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Families with small children and childcare workers have a new resource to help piece together the best aspects of childcare.

Smart Start's new Puzzle Center teaches childcare workers how to set up classrooms properly for learning and how best to ensure the emotional and physical well being of a child. Families can call the center with any questions about childcare or daycare referrals. Although area daycares and parents say Smart Start is invaluable, the Legislature has proposed a 20 percent cut in its funding.

"That's where our state has to make a decision,” Smart Start Executive Director, Janet Nelson said. “Are we going to make an investment that will improve things down the road, or are we going to be short-sighted?"

"I think it's inconceivable that they would even consider cutting,” A1 Learning Center teacher, Sherrie Fowler said. “Smart Start for our county and our center is the foundation for the support and the training that we need to do what we do for the children."

Fowler said without Smart Start's funding and resources, some daycares would flounder around and childcare would diminish. Nelson said although the Puzzle Center is new, it will not be cut despite a loss of funding.

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