Big check

CCAC Executive Director Diane Nielsen accepts a check from Rockport-Fulton Hurricane Harvey Relief (RFHHR) for $50,000 toward the completion of the Coastal Bend Child Development Center. Pictured are, from left, Rockport City Councilman Brad Brundrett, RFHHR Vice President Ben Falk, Nielsen, RFHHR Vice President Jesse Johnson, and CCAC Board President Stefany Simmons.

Members associated with Rockport-Fulton Hurricane Harvey Relief (RFHHR) presented the Children’s Coalition of Aransas County (CCAC) with a $50,000 donation Wednesday, Dec. 22 to be used for the purchase of a new childcare center in Rockport called the Coastal Bend Child Development Center (CBCDC).

It will be located at 922 Highway 35 Business.

CCAC Executive Director Dianne Nielsen said this project has been in the works for a long time, and is grateful for all the support the coalition has received in making it happen.

“We are thrilled as we continue our quest to help the children in our community by providing a great environment in which they can be safe, healthy and happy as they learn and grow,” said Nielsen.

Rockport City Councilman Brad Brundrett said RFHHR consulted with him and Rockport Mayor Pro-tem J.D. Villa about an organization that could use additional funding. Brundrett and Villa recommended the CCAC.

After hearing the CCAC’s vision to address the need for a childcare center in Aransas County, RFHHR agreed to make the donation if the CCAC could match it.

The CCAC exceeded the match, raising $76,250.

Their largest donation came from the Les and Mary Puckett Children’s Foundation for $50,000. Private donors raised the other $26,250.

“We’ve had so much support from the business community, government leaders, and the people in our community,” said Nielsen.

After the check presentation, Nielsen talked about the need for a facility such as this in Aransas County.

“The childcare situation in our county is at a crisis-level,” said Nielsen. “There’s enough childcare currently to meet about 11% of the need. So this program is going to go a very long way to make a difference in our community.”

The shortage was caused by several factors, but Hurricane Harvey was the biggest one.

The CBCDC will meet national accreditation standards and will serve as a workforce development site for high school students and adults who want to earn their Child Development Associate credentials.

The facility has more than 10,000 square feet and will open in two phases. Nielsen said after the first phase is complete it will care for more than 90 children. The second phase will care for up to 150 children.

It will be built to care for children from six weeks to 12 years of age.

Nielsen said the facility will open in 2022.

The CCAC prepared a gift catalog of items to outfit the facility. Items in the catalog include, but are not limited to, infant beds and changing tables, to playground equipment and outdoor furniture.

Printed copies of the gift catalog can be found at the CCAC’s current office at 401-B W. Market Street or on their website at

For more information, or to make a donation, call CCAC at (361) 255-3000 or email

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