Addressing the child care needs of un- and underemployed individuals enrolled in workforce training programs at the Metropolitan Education and Training Center (“MET Center”) in Wellston, Missouri was recognized early on by the CED-Solutions principals as essential to the participants’ success. A part of the redevelopment plan for Wellston from the beginning, the Early Explorers Academy now operates less than a block from the MET Center and adjacent to public transit facilities (MetroLink and bus lines) and provides high quality child care for the children of students enrolled in programs at the MET Center and the surrounding community.
In connection with on-going redevelopment activities in the Wellston, the principals were responsible for securing $5 million in federal HUD EDI funds and CDBG-DR funds to design and construct the 16,000 SF childcare center which has the capacity to serve 126 students.
The facility augments the two generational approach to work force training being utilized at the MET Center. While parents learn skills to secure living-wage jobs, children are provided a high quality pre-school education to ensure their readiness to successfully enter elementary school.
The childcare center was designed to serve children from three months to six years. The facility contains classrooms for parenting, financial management and other family support classes; spaces for the development of large motor skills; community meeting rooms; healthcare center and outdoor play spaces that allowed for the development of a community garden.