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Old school building to host new childcare business

KEESEVILLE A new business is aiming to fill a sorely-needed service niche. Keesevilles Kids Cove, a child-care center and pre-school, will open later this month, and be able to serve up to 83 children. The business is housed in Keesevilles old Catholic School building. Directors Cynthia Casey and Lisa Zmijewski plan on opening the center on June 25. The business will operate from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Keesevilles Kids Cove will potentially employ up to 23 staff, with 16 full-time jobs, depending on enrollment. The building is owned by the Catholic Community of Keeseville. It was used by Keeseville Elementary School before the remodeling project, but has been mainly vacant for the last five years with the exception of hosting Sunday School classes. For Zmijewski, the business is the fruition of years of work. While working on a degree at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, she created a business plan for the center. When I wrote my business plan 14 years ago, I wanted to provide an opportunity for children to grow and I want to make a difference in someones life, said Zmijewski. The business will utilize all the rooms of the former school, with classrooms set up for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children. Casey is currently working as a child care provider in Keeseville, and serves as program director. Im excited about being able to offer service for a lot more people, said Casey. Theres a huge need for quality childcare. Zmijewski said the lead teachers were required to have at least an associates in early childhood development, and many have their bachelors. Teachers aides are required to have a GED in two years experience in childcare. Well offer a safe, education for children to spend there time. Itll be full of lots of love and care its been a project from mine and Lisas heart, said Casey. Keesevilles Kids Cove received a $174,300 grant in June 2006 as part of a program to expand and improve New Yorks child care facilities. The start-up business used the funding to refurnish the building, pay initial salaries for employees and purchase supplies. The business has renovated the business plumbing, electric and fire protection system, along with adding a kitchen, re-carpeting the facility and plenty of paint. An open house for Keesevilles Kids Cove is planned on Wednesday, June 6 from 4-7 p.m. The night will be an opportunity to tour the facility and meet staff. For more information on Keesevilles Kids Cove, call 834-5437.

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