EASTCHESTER, N.Y. Andrus Development Director Kevin Cook said there are many "local heroes" to thank for the success of the Andrus Early Learning Center at Tuckahoes Village Hall.
The Andrus Early Leaning Center, formerly known as the Eastchester Child Development Center, opened at Tuckahoe Village Hall in April with an expansive 16,000-square-foot, third-floor location and increased program offerings to better serve children and families.
Cook, who has been development director at Andrus for six years and is a former member of the board of directors, said the organization worked with real estate developer Phil Raffiani, a regular Andrus donor, to open the new location.
Of the construction, which began in 2011, Cook said, "It all happened very fast."
With the new space, Cook said, the center can triple its enrollment to 120 participants. Enrollment has increased from 42 to 92 children since its opening.
There is not a day goes by that there isnt a tour at the facility, he said. People are hearing about us.
The learning center offers early childhood education with an arts room, indoor and outdoor play space, a little peoples theater, and Westchester Countys first lending toy library.
Family programs at the center offer child enrichment and activities geared toward helping children grow in a nurturing, creative environment.
Cook said the center has full- and half-day child care and provides a broad early childhood curriculum that includes reading readiness, social skills and play time. The centers infant and toddler program accepts infants as young as 6 weeks old.
This is a blessing for moms going back to work, he said.
Other offerings include Mommy, Daddy and Me," which engages parents and caregivers in meaningful play activities with their children. Just Me is a flexible drop-off program that consists of three-hour sessions designed for children 3 to 5 years old.
Parents can also take advantage of monthly Date Nights, to take a night off from parenting while their children are safely supervised at the center.
Children ages 1 to 7 can enjoy birthday parties in the play room, Little Theater or arts room.
Cook said the center even provides a Before the Stork program, which is designed for expectant parents to prepare for the arrival of their babies.
Other programs for children include yoga classes and violin instruction.
The center is booming in all sorts of directions, he said.
Cook said many of the center's clients come from Tuckahoe, Bronxville and Eastchester. He said Andrus works with Head Start and The Community Fund to provide services for lower-income families.
Through the generous funding, he said, more kids are able to eat lunch and have extended time at the center.
We are very thankful to be offering those services, Cook said.
The outlook for the future, he said, is amazing, and donations from the community have been phenomenal. He noted that a recent benefit raised $250,000.
I love putting people together, he said. I have never met anyone who didnt want to help.
For more information about the Andrus Early Learning Center and pricing for its programs, visit www.andruschildren.org or call Vidia Cordero at 914-337-4492.