Highland County Child Care Service Moves Forward


A licensed child care provider in Highland County is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.  On Sunday, February 10, 2019, a second informational meeting was held at The Highland Center to provide new details, take a tour of the proposed location and gather more community input.

Director Callie Smith and Assistant Director Tiffany White unveiled the name of the child care service as Highland Children’s House.  Children from age 12 weeks to 12 years can participate, and child care will be provided at The Highland Center beginning in August, with a plan of utilizing at least two downstairs rooms that can house around thirty children.  Initially, the operation will run Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.  Callie Smith, who has 29 years of child care experience in traditional and Montessori settings, emphasized a focus on outdoor activities as part of the program.

The program tuition rates were revealed as well, and they are posted on Facebook by searching for “Highland Child Care in 2019” (https://www.facebook.com/Highland-Child-Care-in-2019-506653156470603/).  Rates include breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.  To successfully provide affordable care and a living wage for staff, Highland Children’s House is looking for a commitment of at least three days a week from ten children, whether that be a half day or full day commitment.  It is important to note that Highland Children’s House will be a subsidy vendor, meaning that for those who qualify, significant, or even all portions of child care costs may be paid for.  Ms. Smith encourages people to contact the Highland County Department of Social Services to learn about such subsidies.  “We do want people to apply for subsidized care.  If they feel like the rates are out of their reach, Sarah Rexrode and Holli McVeigh are looking forward to working with the community and making sure that everyone who needs this service will get this service.”

Holli McVeigh, Family Service Specialist with DSS, can be reached at 540-468-2199 extension 305 or holli.mcveigh@dss.virginia.gov.  There will also be a list of maximum reimbursable rates with the posting of this story online at www.alleghenymountainradio.org.  Furthermore, information on qualifying for subsidies is available at the Virginia Child Care resource website, which will also be posted online:  http://www.dss.virginia.gov/cc/index.html.

Because of this child care service, jobs plan to be created in the community.  Callie Smith and Tiffany White will be full-time employees and plan to move as full-time residents to Highland County in the summer, and there will be at least two part-time jobs created.  Ms. White says, “This has been a need for many years within Highland.  It’s been a vision of several different people.  The timing has just never been right until now, and one thing I know’s always discussed in this community is how to keep young people here, how to bring young families here, and this is just one of those services to encourage that.”

The official registration process is planned to begin in April.  In the meantime, a new child care needs form is being asked to be filled out by interested parties, available at the Highland County Department of Social Services office and soon at the “Highland Child Care in 2019” Facebook Page.  Questions can also be directed through email to highlandchildcare2019@gmail.com.

List of maximum reimbursable rates, supplied by The Highland County Department of Social Services:

2019-02-14 VDSS Child Care Maximum Reimbursable Rates

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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