Thursday, July 26, 2007
The Bridgeport News
Lynn Vance, News Staff Writer “Build it and they will come” is how the saying goes, and that is exactly what Cubby’s Child Care Center co-director Jennifer Trippett said has happened. Cubby’s held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday for its new 18,000 square-foot facility at Charles Pointe, with city officials, state Treasurer John Purdue and Gov. Joe Manchin’s son, Joe Manchin IV, present. The new facility is triple the size of its former 6,000 square-foot location on Cherry Street .
Although the facility is larger, it doesn’t mean that Cubby’s has room for more children. In fact, the facility is already at capacity.
“We are licensed for 307 children, and we are full with a waiting list,” said Trippett.
Trippett, who operates the facility with her sisters, Janelle DeMarco and Jeanette Laverdierre, said Cubby’s was licensed at the previous location for 164 children, which included the Benedum Civic Center for after-school programs. She said the new facility has gained a lot of interest from working parents.
For the past five years, Trippett, and her parents, Joe and Joyce Spatafore, who own Cubby’s have been looking to relocate.
“It was a vision from the Lord that got us here and a dream come true to be located at Charles Pointe,” said Joe Spatafore. “We are very happy we decided to locate here, but couldn’t have done it without the help and cooperation from Huntington Bank, Genesis Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration.”
Trippett said she’s delighted to finally have a bigger facility to meet the needs of working parents.
“For five years we’ve tried to get a building for the after-school kids to give them a place of their own,” said Trippett. “We looked at a lot of property that was for sale in Bridgeport .”
Trippett said the new location at Charles Pointe is better than she could have imagined.
“It’s everything under one roof … it’s really been perfect,” she said. “It’s convenient for anyone and everyone coming from any location – it’s easy access.”
Trippett said she never considered building any place other than Bridgeport . She said not only is it convenient for herself, having lived and grown up in Bridgeport, but Cubby’s services Bridgeport schools, and she felt it had to stay in the area for that reason alone.
The new state-of-the art facility in child care features an entire wing for school-age kids. It features a gymnasium with a fenced-in basketball area, an arts and craft room, a homework/media room and a playroom.
Each age group also has its own playground located directly outside of its age-appropriate classrooms, and has a set curriculum that is followed.
“It’s small group sizes and low staff-to-child ratios,” said Trippett.
Classrooms all have diaper changers or bathrooms, and children age 2 and older all have access to water fountains inside their classrooms.
“They’re completely functional in their classrooms,” said Trippett, who has been overseeing the operations at Cubby’s for 11 years. “And for the kids, it’s the perfect location. There are cows on the hill, trucks coming in from the asphalt plant and airplanes (that fly in and out of the airport).”
The facility also has a complete surveillance system that ties in to the office, so Trippett can see what is going on in every classroom. There is also additional parking, which was not available at the previous location.
According to Trippett, employees of the new facility, with help from parents, made the move from the former location in one weekend.
The new facility officially opened at Charles Pointe on May 14. Cubby’s is open from 6:20 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for infants through children 12 years of age.