Dozens Gather for Groundbreaking of Primeros Pasos in Georgetown - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dozens Gather for Groundbreaking of Primeros Pasos in Georgetown

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A group of children playing at the current facility in Georgetown. (Photo: WBOC) A group of children playing at the current facility in Georgetown. (Photo: WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del.- Dozens gathered in Georgetown on Wednesday for the groundbreaking of a new facility for Primeros Pasos, a daycare facility that aids low-income, pre-school-aged children. The new facility allows for the nonprofit to care for more than three times the number of children. 

The daycare currently can only care for approximately 20 children. With the new facility, that number will skyrocket to 67 students. 

"It's amazing," said Barbara Tenney, a board member for Primeros Pasos. "This gives us the room to do the programs we would like to do. And to offer the programs." 

Tenney said that the upgrade is especially important for the Hispanic population, since 75 percent of the children are from Spanish-speaking homes. Meanwhile approximately 90 percent of the students are from low-income homes. 

Primeros Pasos received $500,000 from state and federal funding, in order to do the project. The remaining $700,000 has been raised through private donations and grants. The group is still $300,000 short of what is needed for the project. 

Rene Diaz is the father of one of the students in the program, and said that change would have major impacts on the Hispanic community. 

"(Primeros Pasos) provides a valuable place where they can transition," he said. "A lot of the students or parents come from different countries. So I think a lot of times that... transition is difficult." 

A large number of Sussex County lawmakers were at the event, from both the Delaware General Assembly and the Sussex County Council. County Council President Michael VIncent said the impacts of the new facility will be tremendous, not only for Georgetown, but the entire county. 

"It's a big deal," he said. "I mean - we're talking about a 300 percent increase. That allows a lot more children to be exposed to preschool education." 

The upgrade to the new facility gives the daycare a "five star" rating, which is the best available.

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