WALLINGFORD - When a day care closes, parents are left in the lurch; they must scramble to locate new day care facilities sometimes miles away. Such was the case when the Wallingford Day Care closed unexpectedly.
Families impacted by the closing of the Wallingford center traveled from Clarendon, Wallingford, East Wallingford, Mt. Tabor, Tinmouth and Danby; included were 47 children. Parents had to face juggling jobs while quickly coming up with a day care solution that didn't involve an even longer drive from home. Without an immediate child care solution, they said, the closure was fast becoming a community crisis.
Sometimes a crisis is an opportunity for positive change. This particular community crisis was laid to rest when several Wallingford-area parents stepped up to solve the problem themselves. Their solution? A new day care center called Kids' Cove.
The day care and learning center was planned to be sited conveniently and serve families in the Rutland region, according to Michelle Kenny. By providing a safe, loving and fun learning environment for area children, the parents were putting a lot of themselves into the facility.
In February, parents came up with the name for the non-profit childcare center-Kids' Cove, an ideal name since it would be a safe harbor for children to play and learn under watchful eyes.
Kids' Cove's Kenny said the organizing committee secured a location at an historic building owned by local Masons. The building, at 65 South Main St. (U.S. Route 7), is easy to locate; its footprint is ideal for a safe and comfortable childcare facility. The site includes an outdoor green space for play and adjoins the Wallingford Elementary School.
Children attending the center will avoid busy Routes 7 and 140 by passing through a connecting gateway.
According to Kenny, the facility has a legal capacity for 45 children; this includes up to 7 infants in the "infant room" and up to 10 toddlers and 20 preschoolers in the "great room".
Kids' Cove provides a preschool learning program for three and four year-olds. The center plans to continue the Wallingford Day Care's collaborative arrangement with Wallingford Elementary School as well. Wallingford Day Care teacher Felicia Knapp will also be involved.
Kids' Cove will open in September as a Vermont-licensed childcare facility. During the academic year, the center will provide preschool sessions five mornings per week. During summer vacation, the center will provide a summer camp experience for school-aged children through 12 years of age.
Kids Cove is currently conducting a $375,000 capital campaign that will go to facility improvements and related purchases.
For enrollment information, call 802-345-4040.