Passaic preschool celebrates $3 million renovation, new resources for families

The Children’s Day Preschool and Family Center is more than just a school, it’s an around-the-clock support system for both families and students. And on Thursday, the Passaic nonprofit celebrated a $3 million renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Staff, families, and donors gathered for the ceremony and showed their appreciation for the renovations, which include a second-floor addition, upgraded playgrounds and classrooms and more space office space to support parents.

The preschool, founded in 1893, only accepts 117 students from Passaic and has a total of 42 bilingual staff members, many of which are former students, that care for children ages 2.5 to 5. Additionally, since the nonprofit partners with the Passaic Public School system to provide a traditional school day, there is no cost to parents.

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“If they can’t afford something, we try to see where we can get the money from,” said Emily Cantu, a social worker at the preschool. “For example, if they don’t have enough for laundry, we’re willing to wash their uniforms here.”

Children’s Day also trains interns from local universities on several practices in early childhood education and therapeutic services. Executive Director Sue Dannemiller says the goal is to find ways to work with children and families in larger early childhood communities.

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