New childcare center to break ground in Black Mountain on Feb. 20

Press release from Children and Friends Child Care Center:

The Children and Friends Child Care Center will break ground for its new building on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 4:00 p.m., at its new location at 20 West St. in Black Mountain. (Located behind the Baptist Church on Montreat Road.) The new Center is being constructed as a modular unit in Georgia, consisting of 14 units, which will be delivered and connected together to become a 10,000-square foot facility, specifically designed to serve 170 children, ages 6 weeks to Pre-K.

The groundbreaking ceremony will involve comments by the Don Collins, Mayor of Black Mountain, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, representative of the County Commission, and others who have been involved in the planning and financial support for this new building. Also, the new name of the Center will be announced at this event, as the board desired the new name to reflect the new facility and location.

The Board members of the Center have worked for over a year to plan and obtain funding for this needed project, in response to the lack of high-quality childcare in the community. The initial funding that began the project was a $200,000 allocation from the Buncombe County Commissioners. Since this significant gift, grants have been received from the WNC Bridge Foundation and the Cannon Foundation and many individual gifts from other organizations, such as the Black Mountain Kiwanis club, the Rotary Club of Black Mountain, and the Montreat Presbyterian Church, and over 50 individual donations by community members. In addition, the First Citizens Bank is providing a large loan to help complete the project. Additional funding continues to be sought, as funding is still needed for furniture, supplies, desks, cribs, etc., as the new Center will be expanding and be able to serve 170 children and employ a staff of 32.

According to the chair of the board, Linda Hobson, “We continue to have a large waiting list, and are aware that other 5-star centers in the area continue to have long waiting lists, and our board decided that it was critical to expand to a new facility that was specifically designed to serve babies and young children. We are fortunate to have received a broad base of financial support and look forward to opening this spring. The Center is a not for profit center, and over 50% of our children are provided subsidy by the state, due to the economic conditions of the family.”

The Center opened in 1980 and has been operating out of rented facility that has been in need of improvements and has no room for expansion. The new Center will be located on leased property from the First Baptist Church of Black Mountain, and provide a large playground for children, adequate parking, and easy access to the Center. The high-quality programs being offered will continue to maintain the 5-Star rating (the highest the state awards to high-quality childcare programs).

The Board of Directors of Children and Friends invites you to this celebration to be a part of this exciting center for our youngest children.

Families who are interested in enrolling their child, beginning in April, can contact the Center director, 828-669-6617, to obtain the application or get more information.

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