Lil’ Tykes Daycare plans community open house

The Rev. Martin Cline speaks with parishioners after leading a final liturgy at the former St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Bloomingdale on Sunday, April 28, 2023. The building was decomissioned from its service to the Catholic Church so it could be sold to Lindsay Murray and turned into the Lil’ Tykes Daycare and Enrichment Center. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Marbone)

BLOOMINGDALE — After a year of work, Lil’ Tykes Daycare and Enrichment Center is planning to open its doors for the community to see the space’s transformation at a community open house on Feb. 17.

From 5 to 8 p.m., the Tri-Lakes community is welcome to join Owner/Director Lindsey Murray and her staff for refreshments, a silent auction, speeches, a slide show and tours of the facility, located in the former St. Paul’s Church on state Route 3 in Bloomingdale. Parking will be available across the street in the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department parking lot.

Murray purchased St. Paul’s Catholic Church in June of 2023, with a plan to convert the unused building to serve families in need of day care in the Tri-Lakes. Work has progressed since then to recreate the interior and exterior to safely serve the smallest of the community’s citizens. Local contractors, vendors, family members and community members, more than 30 people, have had a hand in bringing the quality day care and enrichment center to this point.

“People often assume that real learning begins when kids start elementary school; however, children learn a lot between the time they’re born and the time they start kindergarten,” Murray said. “Studies have shown that ‘preschool-aged children experience profound biological brain development by the age of 6,’ according to Point Loma Nazarene University. The center will work with early intervention specialists to help children reach important milestones and be kindergarten ready.”

The center will be split up into three classrooms serving infants (birth to 18 months), toddlers (18 to 36 months) and preschool (ages 3-5). A fourth area will serve school aged children, so that they can ride the bus to and from school, do their homework at the center and go across the street taking advantage of the new amenities at the Bloomingdale park, including the new pickleball court, basketball court, skating rink and a full playground with swings and slides.

The center has potential to bring eight new jobs to the area and serve around 50 children using the two floors. Murray currently plans on opening with six employees until she finds other qualified caregivers to add to the team. All staff will receive continuous professional development hours in the age range they teach, so as to provide the best possible child development understanding and age appropriate curriculum to help children reach milestones and keep a watchful eye on any developmental delays.

Lil’ Tykes is slated for a soft opening in March, with some children already enrolled, and some teachers hired. Interested parents and potential teachers should contact Lindsey Murray at liltykesbloomingdale@gmail.com.


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