New child care and education center opens in Castine
"There's so many small communities in this area that don't have child care. The populations are dwindling because no young family is going to come in today without childcare."
Nancy and W.G. Sayre hope to attract and keep young families in the Castine area with the opening of the Community Childhood Learning Place. Two locals have already been hired as teachers and Margaret Allen has been hired as director.
"We just opened in December right before Christmas. We are on break right now, back the 2nd we'll be here if you want to stop by take a tour I'm more than happy to speak with you."
With a lot of support from the community the facility was built largely by volunteers.
"It's been incredible the support we've gotten." Says W.G. Sayre. "We had over 50 volunteers physically frame, put up wallboard, seam tape, do trim, hang doors..."
The building was constructed in place of a defunct water tank built in 1895. Everything was built with children in mind without sacrificing the history of the site.
"The architects honored what the old water tank looked like."
The facility offers separate spaces for children of different ages surrounding a central activity room.
"We're going to have our great after school program. A summer camp we're looking forward to doing. And school vacations."
"It's a great addition to this little community."
Kate Noel, a resident of Castine, has enrolled her four young kids.
"They can't wait to come. The approach to the child and learning here is fascinating and I think watching my four kids really speaks to the way that their little minds work. It's a very tangible approach to education. Learning through play."
The Sayres hope other small communities can build their own childhood education centers and plan to work with their architect to provide canned plans others can modify to suit their needs.
"Every community can do it and provide quality early learning. We did it."