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.