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June 2, 2019: The Care of Children

by Father Jadon    

Over the last several months, a small group from the vestry has been exploring, in conversation with the full vestry, the idea of developing a small infant and toddler daycare program at All Souls.  Before we get too much further in this exploration, we wanted to be sure the entire parish was aware of this idea.

Many at All Souls have a deep desire to welcome and nurture children into our midst. While we do not try to “compete” with churches who have large children’s programs, over the last few years we have increasingly invested in our Sunday School program, and it is growing in breadth and depth.  We will continue to invest in it. We have also made a significant investment in children and youth through our incubation of a new Scouts BSA troop for girls.  Currently more than 25 girls are part of our troop, and that number is expected to expand this fall as a new program year begins. As troop chaplain, I will increasingly look for ways for the troop to tend to the spiritual wellbeing of our scouts.

The idea of a small daycare program at All Souls is being explored for a variety of reasons, but it is rooted in the overall desire for All Souls to be a place of welcome and nurture for children and families. Throughout D.C., one of the greatest needs of young families is high quality daycare for children from birth through age three; there is a great shortage of daycare “slots” for children of this age group. The vestry and I are aware that we have space that gets used relatively little, especially the lower level of the office wing, which is seldom used for more than a few hours on Sunday.  We are interested in whether or not we might be able to repurpose this space so that we can meet a local need, embrace young families, and also develop an additional source of revenue to help us maintain and improve our beloved building.  

We are at the early stages of this exploration, but the early signals seem to be green. Several experienced daycare providers, including an Episcopal school in D.C., are helping us think through this possibility and explore the various programs the city offers to encourage and help fund the expansion of infant and toddler daycare programs.  If you have thoughts or concerns, or want to get involved, please talk to me, a warden, or Embry Howell or Stefanie Vestal. 

Last Published: May 29, 2019 4:17 PM
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