Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 16, 2013

Closing the gap

Niagara Gazette — St. James United Methodist Church is coming to the rescue of plenty of teen mothers still in school in Niagara Falls.

Located at 4661 Porter Road, the church is preparing areas within its spacious building to serve as a nursery and day care center for the community as a whole. But a partnership with the high school – right next door – is set to bring in many of the first participants.

At least that's the hope of Childcare Director Rose Lynch, who has been working to ensure Little Wonders Early Childhood Development Center's successful February opening.

"Because of its close proximity to the high school, the church has been trying to reach out and help the community," Lynch, hired by the church to run the program, said. "We're working with the high school on a number of components. We're working with the youth services students through (Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services) and it's our hope to close the gap for young parents searching for child care services while they're at school."

How desperate is Niagara Falls for reliable child care? Lynch said since the high school shut down its day care services for teen parents two years ago, three other area centers have been closed down, leaving a large hole in the community.

The center will provide those parents the opportunity to drop off their children before heading to the school for the day. And it allows those parents to take comfort in knowing their children are close by.

Once it's opened, getting children to the center – and their parents to school – will be easier as well, when the district creates a cut-through sidewalk from the north parking lot of the school to a new, side door of the church, which will serve as the main child care entrance.

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