Connecticut Institute For Communities, Inc. (CIFC) has opened a new early learning center for children 3 and 4 years old at 29 Park Ave. in Danbury.
CIFC’s new Early Childhood Education Center, located on Park Avenue, is part of Head Start of Northern Fairfield County (HSNFC), which is sponsored by CIFC. With this addition, HSNFC now has four centers in Danbury – the Danbury Head Start Center on Foster Street, and the Laurel Gardens and WIC Centers, both on Main St. Combined, these centers annually serve more than 450 children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years-old.
“Since 2004, CIFC has provided Head Start services to the Danbury region, adding more classrooms as the demand warranted and resources allowed,” said James H. Maloney, J.D., President and CEO of CIFC. “We are thrilled to be able to continue to respond to that demand with the opening of our new Early Childhood Education Center.”
The new 29 Park Ave. center opened in late December, and has seven preschool classrooms and extensive amenities, including an indoor multi-purpose room, a kitchen, and a modern outdoor playground.
“Head Start is a critical service in any community,” said Nicole Taxiltaridis, CIFC’s Director of Early Learning Programs. “I am gratified that we are expanding our footprint in Danbury so more children and families will be able to access the comprehensive offerings that Early Head Start and Head Start provide.”
CIFC needed more classrooms because of several programmatic opportunities at Danbury’s Early Learning Programs. This included taking 60 children who were receiving home-based Head Start services once a week and, at parents’ requests, turning them into center-based students. Additionally, CIFC replaced its two Head Start classrooms at the Laurel Garden Center with four new Early Head Start classrooms.
The 29 Park Ave. facility, the former Danbury Cadillac/Oldsmobile show room, was comprehensively redeveloped by its owner, the Connecticut Community Facilities Development Corp., a local non-profit organization headed by Attorney Jeff Nicholas. The work on the site started in late spring 2019 and took about eight months to complete. Site acquisition was made possible in cooperation with the State of Connecticut and construction financing was provided by Newtown Savings Bank.