Care Center Foundation Daycare
West Chester, PA

By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News
After more than $1 million in renovations to the Care Center for Christ Foundation, directors and staff announced plans to reopen the Matlack Street facility on Sept. 30, 2013. “We have so many babies that need to be in the program,” said Executive Director Blondell Parsons, who has served the position for eight years. “Our mission is to serve those in need and make sure no one is turned around because of an inability to pay.” Parsons said the staff has eagerly been waiting to open the doors throughout the seven-month renovation. CH&E Construction of Lancaster, PA served as the General Contractor for the project.

Board members, staff and members of the community celebrated the reopening of the center with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Renovations included exterior and interior restoration, as well as new construction work associated with both exterior and interior modifications, to greatly improve the available space and add space to serve more children and provide jobs and services to the community. A fenced-in playground was added to the backyard with a shelter on the second floor, and a fallout shelter in the basement.

The care center offers full-day programs, designed to serve children from ages of 1 to 12, including day care, preschool, after-school, summer camp, recreation and Christian education events. The center is licensed by the State of PA Department of Welfare and a member of the Stars for Excellence Program. Programs offered are day care, preschool, after school, summer camp, recreation and Christian education events.

As one of the borough’s older buildings, the care center’s original building was built in 1860 and was known to many as the “Side Track” bar, according to center staff. Care center members originally wanted to raze the building, but renovations were favored after they became aware of the building’s historical status. “Because of a possible historic area, we pursued the effort to renovate the footprint in an appropriate manner,” Parsons said. It was converted into a social services center in 1982 and as a childcare center in 1991. The center now provides day care services as well as before- and after-school programs.

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone praised the renovations. “At the end of the day it’s really about the kids, providing an amazing opportunity for them in an incredible environment surrounded by the love and support of the teachers, staff and volunteers,” Cozzone said. “It’s always nice when we can see the results of the investments the county has made and it’s absolutely gorgeous inside,” Cozzone said.

Supporting the renovation were a $526,000 grant from the Chester County Department of Community Development, $75,000 from the Nonprofit Finance Fund in Philadelphia, $10,000 from the Connolly Foundation and $5,000 from the Buck Foundation.

“From my first day with the center it has been my dream to see a new Care Center rise up and serve our community,” Parsons said.

Architect: Althouse Martin & Associates, Inc. - Lancaster, PA