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Northern Home Debuts New Community Daycare

Ridge Avenue landmark increases its local involvement.

Though the has 157 years of aid to city kids behind it, the Ridge Avenue nonprofit is adding a new chapter to its story—local daycare.

With the Little Friends Early Center located on its 6-acre campus, the Northern Home intends on getting more involved specifically with the Roxborough-Manayunk neighborhood.

"We want to expand our services to include connecting with the community right around us," Child Welfare Services division director Gus Keirans said.

A full-day preschool run by a professional with 20-plus years experience, Little Friends is looking for youngsters to get the program off the ground.

"Besides the quality, the environment is important as it's unique. Other than the beautiful campus, we're hoping people flock to us because it's small," director Judy Lemonick said. "It may not be at full occupancy, but it will be at full staff."

According to Keirans, "What's happening here is that you'll have a quality one-on-one experience."

Serving more than 3,500 students across the city, Northern Home is also a residence for young mothers and their children. Currently, the children of its tenants make up the daycare. When the community program gets rolling, there will be a toddler daycare and one for preschool-aged kids.  

While the younger ages are mostly closed to the public, the community program is geared to the traditional preschool students—ages 2-1/2 to 5. That group will be mostly community members, mixed with some of the residents' older children.

There will be rolling enrollment, with applications accepted now. 

Neighbors may see fliers for the program at local supermarkets. Northern Home is hopeful that the influx of young families to the area helps with enrollment. "It's such a tightknit community, we're really counting on word of mouth," Lemonick said.

The community facility itself will be comprised of about 13 kids when at full capacity. Prospective students and parents may tour the playroom, napping area, outdoor space and playgrounds with Lemonick.

Interested parents may call her at 215-482-1423 extension 1248 or emailing jlemonick@northernhome.org. Check out the attached flyer for more information.

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