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      Parents speak out about Indian Hills Child Development Center closing

      It was at the end of March when parents of 74 preschool aged children at Indian Hills Child Development Center at Ottumwa Regional found out that its doors would be closed May 24.

      With this news came shock and disbelief from parents who depended upon these child services while at work.

      ??Can I be honest? I cried,?? said Melissa Schuttlefield.

      For Schuttlefield, this child development center is her 3-year-old daughter??s home away from home. Her classmates and teachers are like another family.

      She realized through this experience that the Ottumwa community has a need that needs to be addressed and the time is now.

      ??There is a significant need for additional quality daycare in Ottumwa. That affects bringing people into Ottumwa. That affects people staying in Ottumwa, having quality care for your child. Any parent will tell you that that is your life. You need to go to work and have peace of mind. My child is well cared for,?? said Schuttlefield.

      Schuttlefield helped organize a meeting Tuesday night with Ottumwa Regional??s CEO Phil Dionne and IHCC President Jim Lindenmayer. More than 100 parents showed up to voice their concerns.

      ??What I appreciate from them is that they have made this commitment to aggressively pursue the possible alternatives through contacting businesses to maybe get some more money so maybe we can continue it. That's what I felt is the most important thing they did for us,?? said Schuttlefield.

      Dr. Lindenmayer said he has already taken the first steps.

      ??I??ve arranged a meeting early next week with some people that are in that business in this community to just bring them up to speed and then to talk about their potential viability as part of the solution. I think that??s the first step. I think the next step then would to be share that information with parents and maybe other people that could be involved in a potential solution,?? said Dr. Lindenmayer.