Episcopal church to open day care center

Episcopal church to open day care center

After her sister died  in 2014, Marie Catalano-Gruen closed a teacher training company she had operated with her sibling and returned to a job she had abandoned decades before: accounting. “I remembered why I’d left it in the first place,” she said, sitting in a room of arts projects and miniature green chairs at a new Roslyn day care center, of which she’s the director. 

Housed within Trinity Episcopal Church, the day care center will open on Nov. 1, as will an adjoining preschool. “It’s been a mission of the church for years to serve people and help with the formation of children in the community,” said Catalano-Gruen. The facility will be nondenominational, though Christian instruction will be made available to children who express interest. 

The day care center, located at 1579 Northern Boulevard, will welcome children ages six weeks to 5 years on Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Preschool classes will be taught by Caroline Lynch, who has spent over 20 years in the field, and Naiomi Hendricks, said Catalano-Gruen. 

After leaving her accounting job, Catalano-Gruen discovered the day care and preschool director position listed online. She is excited to operate a facility in Long Island, where she has lived all of her life. Though Roman Catholic, Catalano-Gruen dismissed any concern about running a nondenominational center within the halls of an Episcopal church. “I’m a spiritual person and I consider myself Christian,” she said. “But I’m not a churchgoer.” 

The church intended to open the center at the beginning of September, but met delays in getting its state license. When the center recently completed that process, it began hiring additional staff and reaching out to community members. As part of the latter effort, the center will hold an open house on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., when parents and their children can tour the facility and learn more about its offerings. Catalano-Gruen hopes 30 or more people will attend. 

“If there is tremendous interest at the open house, then we’ll open even sooner than November 1st,” she said. “After all, it is tricky to open a day care and preschool the day after Halloween.” 


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