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Fate of Croton Daycare Center Hangs in the Balance...

May 11, 2006

In a recent and dramatic turn of events, the fifteen year relationship between the Church of the Holy Name of Mary (news) and the Happy Tots Child Care Center has come to an apparent end. On May 6, 2006, the church formally announced to parishioners that they are moving forward with the expectation that Happy Tots vacate their facilities by June 30, 2006.

The consequences of this action has jolted both the staff and the families of the 85 children who attend the child care center. With limited choices available locally for daycare, parents must now decide whether to stay with Happy Tots—as they approach the community for temporary assistance—or try to find a place for their children at another center.

Also at stake are the staff member jobs as Happy Tots employees—now insecure about their future—must decide on staying with Happy Tots versus finding new jobs as they balance the needs of thier salaries and families.

The children—who attend on a daily basis—are the ones who stand to lose the most as a result of this new scenario. The place they have come to love, play, learn and make friends will not be the same.

Recently, a parents group from Happy Tots has come together in an effort to facilitate greater communication between Holy Name of Mary and Happy Tots. Their goal is to find a temporary solution that meets both the needs of the child care center and the parish. The group is hopeful and welcoming of forthcoming ideas and suggestions. They hope that a swift community response to this scenario will bring about a mutually acceptable plan that keeps the best interests of their children in mind.

For more information, suggestions or comments, residents can contact both the Happy Tots parents group at 914-271-6992 and Rev. Michael Keane or Parish President John Lally of the Church of the Holy Name of Mary at 914-271-4797.

On June 2, 2006 8:59 AM, weewill said:

Good people, working together, can achieve almost any miracle. We should be proud. The article in todays Journal News about the administrations of Holy Name of Mary Church, Tiny Tots Daycare Center and Croton Harmon School Board putting their minds and hearts together to find a solution to a critical problem in our community is awesome.

A perfect example of the value of open discussion, investigation and exploration with reason and responsbility. One more reason to “luvcrtn” !

— Georgianna

On May 19, 2006 2:46 PM, SSmith said:

I saw the following article in the May 12, 2006 Journal News and this one in the May 17, 2006 North County News.

While it appears that the Church has its reasons for such a quick eviction, it seems ironic that a faith founded on compassion and caring for one’s neighbor would be so quick to put so many families into such a stressful and uncompromising position. it is near impossible to move a business such as a day care center in just seven weeks!! plus day care centers throughout the county have such long waiting lists that it makes it nearly impossible to find a new center at such a busy time of the year if you are a family impacted.

it would be nice if the church could schedule their maintenance to accomodate a smoother transition for the families involved; but apparently not. only time will unveil the true reasons for such a sudden move.

On May 12, 2006 9:17 AM, Dunes said:

Re: Happy Tots Day Care is asked to Vacate from Holy Day

Thanks to the author who informed Blog readers of the crisis surrounding the Happy Tots Day Care Program.

Many of us in the Happy Tots community have been aware for some time of the Church’s intentions to reclaim the Happy Tots space. However, it was unclear when this might occur. As far as I know, Happy Tots was only recently made aware of the Church’s desire to have them vacate by June 30th. Clearly, this news has greatly distressed the approximate 80 children, 60 families and 35 employees directly affected.

Of course the Church has the right to reclaim the use of its space. But the approximate two months notice Happy Tots received was woefully inadequate to enable the successful relocation of the Day Care.

After a long and diligent search Happy Tots recently found a place to make a new home. It is now going through the necessary regulatory approvals. Architects and contractors have been contacted and are ready to go once the State, County and Local agencies give their approval. Hopefully this will happen at a hastened pace so all concerned can move on.

It is my understanding that throughout the years Church leaders have been very supportive of Happy Tots. For this I am of course very thankful as Happy Tots has provided a warm and nuturing experience for our two children. I hope the Day Care will have the oppurtunity to continue at Holy Name until the new location is ready. If not, I hope temporary space can be found in the community.

I do know that something has to happen quickly as Happy Tots families and staff are facing several difficult decisions.

David Marcus


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