Montauk resident Fallon Nigro, at an East Hampton Town Board meeting...

Montauk resident Fallon Nigro, at an East Hampton Town Board meeting in February, said in a recent interview that parents are “still a little on edge” as they await more details about the operation of the hamlet's only day care center. Credit: Morgan Campbell

A Montauk day care will continue operating without interruption, with town officials hiring a new provider after the current vendor announced an exit that left families concerned about scrambling for other coverage.

On March 21, the East Hampton Town Board reached an agreement with nonprofit Project MOST to run the Montauk Childcare Center.

The town won't charge the nonprofit rent to operate in the municipal-owned Montauk Playhouse Community Center, the same arrangement as with the current provider. 

East Hampton Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said the contract likely will be for five years, but terms still are being finalized.

Founded in 2001, Project MOST is based in the town and provides after-school programs, summer camps, tutoring and early learning programs, according to its website.

The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk Inc., a nonprofit that has run the day care for 17 years, cited mounting financial losses when announcing in late January it would stop operating the center on May 3.

The organization's CEO and president Adrian Fassett previously told Newsday the day care had lost $1.4 million during its operation and that became “overbearing.”

The facility is the only day care in Montauk, and the provider's announcement about a planned shutdown led families to fear they'd be left driving half an hour or more to another facility.

Last week the town board also reached an agreement with the Economic Opportunity Council for the nonprofit to continue running the day care until July 1. The board authorized an emergency grant of $50,000 to fund the additional two months of operation, according to the resolution.

“We really want a seamless transition,” Councilman Tom Flight said in an interview.

Project MOST will need approximately three months to obtain licensing from the New York State Office of Children and Families Services, which necessitated the extension with the Economic Opportunity Council, according to town officials.

“I think it’s a great fit for Montauk,” Flight added of the new provider. “They’ve done a great job delivering services across East Hampton.”

Fallon Nigro, 30, a Montauk resident and real estate professional who sends her two children to the day care center, said “it's looking like it's really all going to work out." But she said parents are “still a little on edge” as they await more details.

Several parents previously said in interviews they were concerned about whether the new provider would accept children less than 18 months old since the facility now is the only one that does in East Hampton Town.

Flight said he doesn't expect the new operator to provide care for such young children, but that could change. Project MOST executive director Rebecca Morgan Taylor didn't answer an inquiry.

Montauk resident and parent Jonathan Mautschke, 45, said in an interview he got “goose bumps” from the “sense of relief” he felt upon hearing about a new provider.

The teacher said his son and daughter, ages 4 and 3, have attended the day care since infancy. He also said he hopes Project MOST can keep the center's current staff.

 “It’s getting harder and harder across the East End to staff small, local businesses,” Mautschke added.  

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Trump on trial … Nassau getting new police vehicles … Lego camp Credit: Newsday

Updated 49 minutes ago Lab results due on Bethpage drums ... Trump on trial ... Best LI high schools ... Knicks go up 2-0

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