ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Have you tried looking for childcare in Abilene? If you have, chances are you have probably been put on a waiting list.
The shortage of childcare spots across the city was addressed during a public hearing at the Abilene City Council meeting Thursday morning.
Brook Hollow Christian Church, located in South Abilene, has been in rezoning talks with the City of Abilene, requesting to be rezoned from Medium Density to Neighborhood Retail.
Making the switch to Neighborhood Retail would also limit the amount of hours they could be open and operational.
This change would allow the church to become a fully-operational childcare facility.
The Planning and Zoning Committee approved and recommended the change on Sept. 7, leaving city council disapproval as the only potential hindrance.
However, surrounding residents were notified of the potential change and overwhelmingly opposed the change, 9-1.
Concerns over a potential future sale of the property was the one issue surrounding the residents around the church.
Mayor Anthony Williams followed the initial hearing with an open hearing from the public, in which Cynthia Pearson, CEO of Day Nursery of Abilene, came to the podium.
Pearson, who has no affiliation with the church, said that she was in favor of the rezoning because of a shortage of open childcare spots across the city.
She said the Day Nursery of Abilene can care for 600 children combined across their four locations, and have a 300 person waitlist as of Thursday.
Pearson also said there are only about 5,400 childcare spaces in the City of Abilene. She believes that is because of a decrease in licensed, quality childcare facilities through the pandemic.
City Council approved the rezoning efforts of the church unanimously.