Day care center forced to find temporary location after fire

Posted: Updated:

An Asbury Park day care center damaged by a fire reopened in a temporary location Tuesday thanks to the generosity of its owners.

2 For Care Early Childhood center owner Sheila Etienne says that she feels lucky that the more than two dozen children and staff made it out of the center last Wednesday unharmed by the fire. She says that she is happy she can still provide child care to her parents.

“A lot of our parents don't have other choices. They don't have other people to watch their kids and even if they did, they're secure with us,” Etienne says.

Etienne and her sister relocated the day care to a nearby church while the Bangs Avenue location is repaired.

But Etienne says that the only hitch is that the new location is not licensed to be a day care center, which means that she cannot collect the standard $200 per child per week.

“We are subsidized and we are not in a licensed center now,” Etienne says. “It’s out of my bank account. My works have to get paid, they have bills to pay.”

The children are not able to return to the original location until cleaning crews inspect all the items inside the center to make sure they are safe to be handled by the children.

Many of the parents say that they are grateful that the day care will still be operating.

“I’m doing it to retain my parents. And, some of my parents don’t have choices. They’re in jobs where if they didn’t’ go this week, they might not have a job,” Etienne says.

Etienne says that she hopes that repairs will be completed by the middle of next week so that the children can return.

Anyone who wishes to make monetary donations to the day care center to help with the repairs can email Etienne.

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