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.