Primeros Pasos takes next step with new facility
All smiles for kids at Primeros Pasos.
Just a few months ago this bilingual early learning center was in the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, a place they've been since 1996.
Flash Forward to Friday, it's a different story. These kids, this nonprofit school now have more space, more toys and windows too.
"When they came in they were overwhelmed but then it didn't take them long to start enjoying all the new toys and the new facility and they love it now," says Sandy Baker, the Board of Directors President.
This facility not only provides a bigger, better space and environment for the kids. It also allows Primeros Pasos to help more local families in Sussex County
"We could serve 19 in the basement and we can serve 39 here so it's a little bit of a jump, it helps but I still have a waiting list, I mean i have a long, long waiting list," says the day care's executive director Casey Christophel.
A long waiting list because Primeros Pasos is no ordinary day care, most of their staff is bilingual and for good reason.
They are dedicated to serving the growing Hispanic population and teaching kids in pre-school English so they can excel in Kindergarten.
"We're so fortunate to have a very large bilingual staff that these kids are so comfortable to come in and talk with the teacher in their native language and the teachers talk back to them in their native language but then they infuse them with the English," explains Baker.
With the bigger space they are able to take in infants, something Primeros Pasos executive director says no other day care has.
And although they still have another building to open, the parents, kids, and staff are over the moon with the new facility.
"It's taken a lot of work from all of us and i just can't even explain it. The parents are happy, the families are happy," exclaims Christophel.
The executive director tells us in order for them to open the third building, they need around $300,000, but once they do open it they will be able to serve about 25 more kids and additional infants.