New child care facility opening in Downtown Fresno

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First Five of Fresno County is getting ready to welcome some of our community's smallest residents. (KFSN)

First Five of Fresno County is getting ready to welcome some of our community's smallest residents.

Tiny chairs and tables are set up inside First Five of Fresno County's Child Development Center. In a little more than a month, this room will be filled with kids from our community. "This is a big milestone for all families. This is the first time we're opening a child development center that is serving children from all socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities," said Emilia Reyes, First 5 Fresno County Executive Director.

Reyes said leaders decided to take kids from every background with 30-percent coming from lower, middle, and higher economic backgrounds. The remaining will be for kids with special needs.

State subsidies and scholarships will help supplement the fees for students. The facility was built to provide the highest standards of care and education. "Because it's a demonstration site we're going to have a lot of professionals and volunteers in the centers, so every child is going to have that one on one intention, which provides a high-quality learning environment for the child," said Reyes.

Children ages six weeks to six years will be cared for. Right now, they plan to open three classrooms and will open two more in the coming months.

Recently, they held a lottery to select the future students and their families. Parent and security guard Kenrick Smith said he's excited to put his 15-month-old at this center. "I'm a downtown employee myself, I work in several areas myself, it provides me an area to bring her where I know she has safety and security. She'll have a great foundation here and I'll also have the opportunity to come and see her."

The Fresno County Office of Education will run the center and Fresno State and Fresno City students will spend time learning in the environment.

The Child Development Center is expected to open its doors by the end of February. Once it's in operation, it will be the only facility of its kind in the Valley.
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familychildrenfresnodevelopmentFresno - Downtown
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