Palisades Child Care Center is now a next door neighbor to Palisades Medical Center. An Oct. 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked a new beginning for the day care center. Formerly located at 115 River Road in Edgewater, the 7,000-square-foot center is now located at 7701 Marine Road.
“Palisades Child Care is an excellent addition to North Bergen and will provide our residents with the highest quality child care right here in the township,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco at the grand opening. “Palisades Medical Center has always been a solid community partner and I am proud to welcome this newest venture to North Bergen.”
The center began operations in 1984 as part of Palisades Medical Center and moved to Edgewater in 1991 where it remained for 22 years. It is recognized as the longest-running day care center along the Hudson River waterfront serving Hudson and southern Bergen Counties. The previous location was two floors, but the new facility is all on one level.
“It’s easier and the children don’t have to [walk up] the stairs,” said Director Patricia Doerner.
The walls have painted murals which add a vibrant atmosphere along with Dr. Seuss quotes such as, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Doerner wanted the daycare to resemble streets and the floor looks like cobblestone.
It now has an indoor activity center, a shared space area for all the children. Yet another addition is web camera viewing for parents to check in on their kids from their home computers.
“We can just give them [parents] a peek into their child’s day,” said Doerner.
“Now everything is closer.” – Director Patricia Doerner
The playgrounds are still undergoing work. One is under construction while another needs to be rubberized to ensure the safety of the children, and the playground equipment still needs to be installed. Doerner says the rubberized playgrounds should be completed by spring. One is for preschoolers and the other for toddlers.
The ages range from six weeks to five years. Palisades Child Care Center (PCCC) has infants, waddlers, toddlers and preschoolers. They are cared for by board-certified teachers and caregivers.
The facility has a nursery and classrooms split up according to age. The nursery has strict rules for those entering who must take off their shoes and put on bootees to not drag in dirt as the children crawl through the floor. Waddlers is not a well known term, but refers to children that are learning how to walk so they waddle instead.
Doerner likes the proximity of the new location and the accessibility of children to be able to enjoy their new surroundings.
“We’ll be able to do a lot more walking,” said Doerner. “We’re just thrilled, we love it. We all deserve this, we all deserve a great new center, the parents, the children, my staff,” said Doerner.
It is licensed for 120 and there are currently 110 children enrolled.
Back to basics
Special programs now featured within the center’s curriculum include music, fitness and motion, French and Spanish language. The daycare also has a “Foster Grandparent Program” that brings children on trips to The Harborage nursing home and rehabilitation center. That program was stalled for a couple of years since it was almost a mile and a half away from the hospital. It has once again continued the program giving joy to seniors on Fridays by 10 preschoolers.
What once required a bus ride, the Annual Halloween Parade is now within walking distance. The children trick or treat through the hospital’s departments.
“Now everything is closer,” said Doerner.
Familiar with the director
Patricia Doerner has been the director for 28 years and began as a 4-year-old teacher. Children were familiar with Doerner and they affectionately call her Mrs. Patty.
“What sets us apart is that we feel more like a family than a school,” said Doerner. “Even though there’s a lot of learning going on, you want a parent to feel very welcome and that we’re an extended part of their family.”
For more information, please call Patricia Doerner (201) 945-1447.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org