Metropolitan Family Services Celebrates Grand Opening of New North Children’s Center

Contact:
Lisa Garhan, Achieva Inc., 630/836-9412, lisag@achievainc.com
Ann Pinkney, Metropolitan Family Services, 312/986-4032, pinkneya@metrofamily.org

WHO & WHAT:
Metropolitan Family Services, a leading human services organization serving Chicago for more than 150 years, is holding a Grand Opening Celebration for its new North Children’s Center. The new $1.5 million, 6,000 square-foot center is located at 3249 N. Central Ave., in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin community on the Northwest Side.

What makes this Children’s Center unique:

  • There is an urgent need for quality, affordable child care for the growing numbers of Latino children and families who live on the city’s Northwest Side. This population trend is documented in a 2007 study by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago which was commissioned by the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services and outlines growth in communities such as Belmont Cragin.
  • This new Children’s Center is the first Head Start facility in the area. One-third to half of the families in Belmont Cragin and surrounding areas including Portage Park, Irving Park and Hermosa, live in poverty and need access to quality early childhood education. “We know that Belmont Cragin is a high need area because so many families with children have moved into the community,” said Mary Ellen Caron, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services. “We support Metropolitan Family Services and their efforts to deliver quality preschool and child care to the families in Belmont Cragin.”
  • The Center builds on Metropolitan’s extensive early childhood expertise. This Center will follow the successful model of Metropolitan’s Midway Children’s Center on Chicago’s Southwest Side. “Our Midway Center is one of only seven percent of early childhood education programs in the entire country that accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children,” said Dr. Richard Jones, President & CEO of Metropolitan Family Services. “We’re well-versed in delivering quality early childhood education.”
  • A collaborative effort was required to make the North Children’s Center happen. State Sen. William Delgado and City Clerk Miguel del Valle (then state-senator) are among those who strongly supported the Center, helping us to secure $250,000 of the $1.5 million it took to build the facility.

WHEN:
Friday, Sept. 19, 2008
10 a.m.

WHERE:
Metropolitan Family Services North Children’s Center
3249 N. Central Ave., Chicago

INTERVIEWS:
State Sen. William Delgado, Department of Children and Youth Services Commissioner Mary Ellen Caron, local family enrolled in the Center