Picket fence day care branches into River Grove
Friends of Picket Fence Daycare in Elmwood Park celebrate the opening of its second location at Bethlehem Lutheran School in River Grove.
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:50PM
ELMWOOD PARK — Picket Fence Daycare and Learning Center is expanding.
The Elmwood Park center at 36 Conti Parkway in Elmwood Park opened a new day care at Bethlehem Lutheran School, 2624 Oak St., in River Grove. A red ribbon cutting on July 20 celebrated the event with several members of the community including River Grove Mayor Marilyn May and Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri.
“In Elmwood Park, we have a long waiting list. We weren’t able to meet the needs of the community,” said Picket Fence director Toni Chakchay. “So I was approached last summer to use the empty space at Bethlehem Lutheran. It was a great way to expand.”
In Elmwood Park, Picket Fence Daycare tends to 66 families. The River Grove location will start with 20 families, but has the opportunity to expand to 80.
Chakchay is bringing two of her teachers from her Elmwood Park location to River Grove and will have two new teachers. The day care is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Costs for the daycare can range from $109-$170 per week, depending on chosen services. Parents can choose if they want their child in the full-time or part-time program. Although the new day care is at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, it is not faith-based.
“We provide high-quality early care and education,” Chakchay said.
Chakchay decided to start her own daycare when she had her own kids.
“When my kids were young, there was no place with high-quality care to put them, so we decided to go ahead and open our own.” By expanding her services, Chakchay had to fund all finances herself. She also needed to get a village license and an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) license.
“We’re very happy for Picket Fence Daycare Center,” said Silvestri. “Toni does a wonderful job running it. She’s a lifelong Elmwood Parker and we’re very pleased she’s going to expand her services here at the former Bethlehem Lutheran School.”
“We welcome her into the community with open arms,” May said. “Elmwood Park and River Grove work together. Bethlehem Lutheran will now be filled with smiles and laughter of learning. That’s a good combination.”
Chakchay is excited to begin her new day care center in River Grove.
“All of our staff is like family to us,” she said. “A home away from home!”