Helen Hayes Hospital, the state’s largest specialty physical rehabilitation hospital, recently hosted a ground-breaking ceremony to kick-off the construction of a new child care center on the hospital’s campus in West Haverstraw. The new building, which is expected to be completed in 2007, will replace the hospital’s current child care center facility.
On a bright and sunny day, children from the hospital’s child care center were joined by their parents, hospital and child care center board members, hospital staff and members of the community to mark this special occasion. The kids, dressed in plastic hard hats and equipped with brightly colored plastic shovels, threw the fist shovelfuls of dirt on their future home.
Hospital CEO Magdalena Ramirez thanked the many people who have been involved in getting the project up and running. “Today, we have one of the very best child care centers in the state,” she said, “and the new center will enable us to accommodate more children and broaden our already excellent program. For the staff and the community, it is so important to have this center on our campus and we are committed to creating a bright and spacious building which will provide the children with a safe, secure, nurturing and creative environment.”
The hospital’s current child care center, which opened in 1987, cares for 55 infants through pre-schoolers. Approximately 60% are children of employees, with the remaining children coming from the community. The new facility will enable the center to expand to 75 children. The center has been recognized as having a very low staff turn-over rate, promoting the provision of high quality child care.
“We have long dreamed about having a beautiful new building for the children,” Ramirez stated, “and today that dream is one step closer to reality.”