Zwick retires from ACDC after 35 years
Diane Zwick, who opened the child care center on Central Avenue in 1973, retired as its director effective Jan. 1.
"I told them we had to charge in order to get the people we needed to run a good children care center," Zwick
"They thought they could do it with volunteers, and I knew that wouldn't work."
When the planned relationship with the YWCA
did not work out, Zwick
supporters created a board of directors and obtained status as a non-profit agency.
That's the way it has been since.
office would call about every two weeks and ask how we were coming along," Zwick
is now serving its second generation of children, and Zwick
has tried to keep track of her
"I know we have several Fulbright Scholars who began their education at Ashland Child Development Center
, and of our first class, all but one has graduated from college," Zwick
"A good preschool education helps get children started on the right foot and can often identify and correct learning problems before the children begin school."
works hard to maintain its three-star rating from the state, Zwick
One reason is because the highest rating shows it is offering children a quality program, she
There is also a financial incentive.
Three-star centers that accept low-income children can receive up to $15,000 a year from the state to purchase equipment and cover other expenses.
"That's money we really need," Zwick
When it first opened, ACDC
was only a kindergarten program for older preschool children.
At the time the Ashland schools did not have a kindergarten program.
"We had a lot of kids in our kindergarten program, and I can guarantee you that every one of them could read before they started the first grade," Zwick
"We really gave them a head start on their education."
Since its creation, funding has always been "a huge problem" for the center, Zwick
"We simply cannot pay for the quality of child care and education young children need and deserve with what parents are able to pay in tuition," she
"We must depend on fundraising, grants and other sources of income to keep our door open.
Even the subsidies we receive for accepting low-income children only pay for part of the cost of keeping them."
began to think about retiring about a year ago and began to look for a replacement.
While serving as ACDC's director, Zwick earned her doctorate in education leadership from OU.
"I'm qualified to be a school superintendent, but I'm not that crazy," she
Instead, she will continue to oversee an in-home food program ACDC operates for private homes that care for children.
also hopes to become an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church
and to travel.
"I also want to spend more time with people," she