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New Day Care Facility To Be Built

By Carol Wigglesworth

A line item for construction of a new $3.5 million day care facility has been approved for fiscal year 1999, according to Paul Horton, director of ORS's Division of Space and Facility Management, who made the announcement recently to the NIH day care oversight board. The new facility will be located in the southeastern portion of campus, near the Natcher Conference Center.

Scheduled to open in 2000, the new facility will house an expanded Parents of Preschoolers, Inc., the center currently located in Bldg. 35. In addition to classrooms for approximately 100 children, the 21,000-square-foot structure will include administrative spaces, interior and exterior play areas, kitchen and laundry facilities, parent/teacher conference areas, and spaces for equipment and utility systems. The building will comply with all accessibility standards.

Mary Haas, POPI director, expressed enthusiasm about the potential for expansion and an improved facility: "We are thrilled to expand our school. Besides the obvious advantages of being able to serve more families, we will be able to build onto our existing curriculum with the addition of a new library and an indoor exercise room. Children learning and growing in a space designed specifically for them is an ideal situation." POPI currently provides day care to 65 children, ages 21/2 to 5 years.

Bldg. 35 To Undergo Renovation

Once POPI moves into the new facility, the vacated space in Bldg. 35 is scheduled to be renovated into a modernized day care facility for additional capacity, should the need still exist. The Division of Engineering Services is currently developing the programming and concept design documents for the new facility. The results of the recent survey of NIH employees concerning their day care needs are currently being analyzed and will be considered by the oversight board and ORS/DSFM, in decisions regarding the occupancy of the soon-to-be-refurbished Bldg. 35.

Also on the horizon are plans to relocate Childkind, which has occupied temporary quarters in Bldg. T-46 for more than a decade, into new temporary quarters in late spring. Childkind provides day care to 33 children, ages 6 weeks to 2 years old.

ECDC Gains Accreditation

NIH's Executive Child Development Center, located at 6006 Executive Blvd., is now accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC accreditation is the largest and most widely recognized national, voluntary, professionally sponsored accreditation system for early childhood schools and child care centers. Accreditation is given for a period of 3 years, and accredited programs submit annual reports to NAEYC. According to ECDC Director Anne Schmitz, "Our NAEYC accreditation validates the outstanding efforts made by ECDC staff and families in giving the loving, quality care all children deserve." ECDC currently provides day care to 218 children.

Childkind is also NAEYC-accredited; POPI is currently undergoing reaccreditation.

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