Today my nonprofit feature is a community childcare center with a really great story of resilience. Childcare can be such a barrier for parents to be able to secure gainful employment. This childcare center ensures everyone in their community has access to childcare.
Federal Children's Center was opened in 1990 as a federally funded program that served government employees and their families in the Metro DC/NOVA area. Many agencies referred families out to the single location in Herndon, VA when military or gov't childcare was not available for any number of reasons. (location, wait list, etc). Fast forward to 2013. The government decided that it was no longer cost effective to refer families out to child care so far from the central DC region. They were going to simply close the center down. However, the families that lived in the Herndon/Reston area and/or had offices in the area did not want to see the program fade away. Location and services offered were too much to let go of, so in 2013 the families worked w/the gov't to keep the center going and it was converted from a federally funded program to a non-profit entity that is now known as Herndon Children's Center. Today HCC primarily serves the Herndon/Reston community and is 100% funded by tuition/fees (no gov't assistance is provided). I/we operate under the supervision of a Board of Directors formed by volunteer parents as well as community members interested in ensuring high quality early childhood education is available to everyone in the community.
We have staff that have been with the program almost since the beginning! We have tenured staff that have been with us for 8, 10, 15, 20 and as many as 25+ years! Their dedication to young children and the program is a prime example of why families fought so hard to keep us operating as a non-profit organization.
We are not only licensed by the state, but have maintained NAEYC Accreditation for the past couple of decades! We serve families with children as young as 3m of age and as old as 8 yrs of age. We typically run 2 infant rooms, 2 toddler rooms, 2 - 2 yr old rooms, 1 large Preschool room and 2 PreK classes. As this pandemica has affected so much, we are working w/families and the community to provide school age care this fall when the return to school scene will look vastly different.
Thank you so much to the director of the Center, Ruby Hildreth, who reached out with this information to share.
More about Ruby:
I started working at HCC as the 2s teacher in Aug 2015 and I've been the Director of HCC since January of 2017. I have a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Dev't from Texas Tech University. I've got several certifications from the State of Virginia and various organizations in the ECE field. I've worked in early childhood in many roles from nursery keeper to student assistant to lead teacher to program director and now as the Director of HCC. As a military spouse (he's now retired) I've worked in various states across the US as well as Japan. My most recent recognition was a nomination for the Heart of Service Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the ChildCare Aware of Virginia organization.
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