LPGA Child Development Center

Wednesday, September 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The women on the LPGA put in a lot of hours at work. Add children to the work and travel equation, and things become doubly difficult, even frightening. The News on Six's Rick Wells says the LPGA has offered peace of mind for golfers competing for a piece of the pie.

The LPGA's Child Development Center. All the kids’ moms are players in the tour. That little guy in the plaid shirt is Ian. He's 2 1/2, his mom is Caroline McMillan she thinks this center is essential. "It allows us to keep playing as mothers, which is wonderful." The LPGA started this center nine years ago realizing many of these golfers would have to end their careers when they had children. Tony Verive is the director; he's a certified preschool teacher a licensed caregiver and teaches early child development. " We're a child development center, we're not a baby sitting service. We have individual learning programs for each child."

That's important to the Moms 'cause the kids are often here from 9 to 12 weeks old unit they are ready for kindergarten. "They are learning what they need to know at that age." Julie Piers has two children four-month-old Emma who Wednesday was helping her mom with her putting, and Jack who's in the center. Wednesday as you can see Jack is a fireman, one of the things she like most is the continuity, the kids may be in a different city every week, but the center is always there. The toys are the same and the caregivers travel with it. "So they have a little consistency in their crazy lives."

Susie Redman has three children, all graduates of the center she says it provides an essential service to the players. "Very instrumental in helping women athletes not having to choose between being a professional golfer or a mother, now giving them a choice to be able to do both." That ensures they can raise a family, and play professional golf as long as they want to.

The LPGA Child Development Center is funded in part by Smuckers, and travels to about 30 tournament sites each year.