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New $7.5M child care center opens at Farmingdale State

Leo Goldstein, 4, of Glen Cove, enjoys an

Leo Goldstein, 4, of Glen Cove, enjoys an indoor slide at the new Children's Center at Farmingdale State College. (Dec. 4, 2013) Credit: Barry Sloan

Farmingdale State College on Wednesday opened a new, $7.5 million child care center on campus that is open to the community as well as the school's students, faculty and staff.

The Children's Center at Farmingdale State College enrolls infants and toddlers from 8 weeks old to age 3. A summer camp for children ages 5 to 12 also will be offered.

The 11,812-square-foot, L-shaped building replaces a facility that has housed the campus child care center for about 30 years.

The monthly cost is $1,286 for infants and $869 for toddlers. With the opening of the new building, the center's license expands from an enrollment of 65 children to nearly 100. It will operate weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"In the past, we were mainly serving the campus, and now we are going to be able to open up to the community," said Kathleen Dowd, the center's director.

For example, children will be able to grow and pick their own vegetables with help from the college's agricultural program, she said.

The center's 12 full-time teachers all hold bachelor's degrees, with the exception of those staffing the infant room, where caregivers are accredited in early childhood development, Dowd said. Students in the work-study program will supplement the full-time teachers.

The state's Office of Child and Family Services oversees the center's license. Funding for the project came from New York State, college officials said.

The new building, located to the left of the campus entrance on Route 110, was designed by Boston-based architect DW Arthur and built by Fratello Construction of Farmingdale.

Each room is handicapped-accessible. An additional room will be available during school vacations, as a child care backup, for children who have aged out of the center. Radiant heat in the floors and automatic shut-off sensors for the lights contribute to the building's green energy, LEED Silver rating, college officials said.

An outdoor playground features four separate play areas. Surfaces include grass, concrete, rubber and mulch. There's a basketball court, a kickball field, a tetherball pole and a grassy area that can be used as a stage, college officials said.For more information, contact Dowd at 631-420-2125.

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