Early education abounds in Ironbound

NEWARK, N.J.--()--Newark’s Ironbound Early Learning Center will open on September 22, 2014, expanding the Ironbound Community Corporation’s preschool program to provide infants, toddlers and preschoolers with quality early childhood education from birth to age five.

“This partnership shows that parents, nonprofits, business leaders and local governments see early childhood education as essential preparation for school and life”

“Research shows that learning begins at birth, and this expansion reaffirms our commitment to providing quality early childhood education that prepares children for success in school and life,” said Joseph Della Fave, executive director of the ICC. “Now Ironbound children have the full range of developmental and education resources they need—all under one roof.”

The Ironbound Early Learning Center is the result of a public-private partnership between the ICC, philanthropist M. Brian Maher and his family, the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program, PSE&G, Valley National Bank and TD Bank. In addition to the vision and oversight behind the center’s development, Maher provided $5 million for property acquisition and construction. The partnership began five years prior to the center’s opening when the Ironbound community received a federal Early Head Start grant in 2009.

“This partnership shows that parents, nonprofits, business leaders and local governments see early childhood education as essential preparation for school and life,” Maher said. “Children who receive quality early childhood education have better education, health and economic outcomes. Each and every child should have this early opportunity to succeed, and I hope this center is just one of many more to come across the State of New Jersey.”

The ICC began its efforts in 1969, working with the community and others to open a preschool because of a lack of child care and early learning resources in the neighborhood. Today, the Ironbound Community Corporation serves nearly 1,000 people daily with a variety of programs. The state-of-the-art Early Learning Center is one more chapter in a 45-year commitment to the Ironbound community.

“As good as this facility looks, the real star is what happens inside—a well-trained and professional staff, voluntary parental education, and comprehensive early learning that starts at birth that prepares children for life with foundational learning and character skills.” Della Fave notes.

Access to quality early learning remains a challenge for children, especially those from low-income families. The state currently has 20 percent of its three-year-olds and 28 percent of its four-year-olds enrolled in state funded preschool programs.

“While this center will afford each child the opportunity of a prosperous future, we must work together to make sure that early childhood programs of the quality of Ironbound Early Learning Center aren’t just in the Ironbound, but found in every town in New Jersey,” Maher said.

Contacts

Ironbound Community Corporation
Anthony Cicatiello, 908-568-3280
acicatiello@cn-com.com