Community Schools

North End Children’s Center to Close in September

North End Children’s Center (NECC), a long standing North End institution, will close at the end of the summer.  NECC, which has been part of North End Waterfront Health (NEW Health) since 1999, has been suffering from decreasing preschool enrollment and, as a result, leadership had to make the difficult decision to close the program.

“We are sorry that we can no longer offer this service to the families in the North End and surrounding communities,” said Jim Luisi, NEW Health’s chief executive officer.  “Our Children’s Center has been providing childcare services in the neighborhood since 1826. We have a dedicated staff and appreciate their service to all of the children over the years. Unfortunately, times and circumstances have changed and our enrollment is not strong enough to sustain the program.”

Tim Clifford, NECC’s director who has led the program since it moved to NEW Health, has been trying to boost low enrollment for over two years.

“We have been working very hard to promote our services to the local community and downtown businesses,” he said. “Fortunately for families, and unfortunately for the Children’s Center, there are many more options available for care and education of young children, including the Boston Public Schools offering free care to three and four year olds.”

NECC’s last day of operation will be September 4.  The staff at North End Waterfront Health will be working over the summer to make the transition for the children, families, and staff as smooth as possible.

An endowment created by the Unitarian Church that enabled some North End families to enroll their children at NECC for a subsidized cost will still be available through Partners HealthCare. NEW Health will announce further details in coming months.

6 Replies to “North End Children’s Center to Close in September

  1. It is so sad to see yet another historic north end institution close its doors. The staff here are amazing and so loving to these children – such a loss!

  2. Not everything that changes in the North End is ‘breaking with historic institution’. The Day care is NOT an historic North End institution. That seems to be the ‘song’ nowadays…..oh, look what’s happening to our North End.
    Time to change the channel, people. It’s tiring to read all the criticisms of those who have lived here for a long time. Time marches on, as it does in every city and neighborhood.

  3. A day care that has roots going back to 1826 and allowed generations of families – especially those at the lower end of the economic ladder- make a living to improve their lot in life is certainly historic. You may not know it but this entity was at the forefront of allowing mothers to work and not worry about the safety of their children.

  4. You are right, Mary. Newark NJ also has a day care dating back from 1826. I do understand the purpose of day care centers…..I did not realize that the NE was that old. But, the question is, would you consider it an historic institution? N.

  5. It was the first nonfamily run day care center in the country. That seems historic enough. More than that, the kids who went there, many of them now well into their 30s, still love the place and remember it fondly. So sad to see you go, Timmy

  6. I have met a lot of wonderful parents over the years because of this program. Programs like this one are PILLARS of a community. It is sad to see it fall. I will miss seeing the Halloween costumes on the little kids. I will miss all the people that have taken care of the children and have been part of this community. Good luck to all of them in their futures. Thank you for making a difference in our community.

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