About the Annandale Christian Community for Action's Child Development Center
What's on a working family's "worry" list? Likely diapers, doctor's visits and the cost of quality child care. The ACCA Child Development Center (CDC), part of the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), provides working families with financial needs, a solution for child care concerns.
The CDC was founded in 1968 with the mission to provide excellent and affordable early child care. It provides development care for children that are three months to five years old and has an enrollment capacity of 230 children. Most of the children are from low- to moderate-income families. The CDC's base of volunteers keeps overhead costs low and center tuition prices affordable.
According to Maria Isabel Ballivian, the director of the CDC, the program's goal is to teach its students the skills necessary for them to thrive once they reach elementary school.
"Studies show that investing in early education pays off because children acquire the knowledge to be more successful in school and in their lives," Ballivian said. "The first five years are critical. It's when the children learn the skills that set the foundation for what comes next."
495 Express Lanes Community Grant Support
Due to work schedule changes or subsidy changes, families enrolled in CDC are at times unable to afford the program. In response, CDC created a Special Assistance initiative that allows for a temporary reduction in fees through scholarships while parents pursue employment that will qualify them for tuition subsidies.
A community grant from Transurban-Fluor has assisted the CDC to provide additional scholarships, allowing CDC's enrolled children to stay at the center.
"Continuous enrollment fosters the children's physical, mental, social and intellectual development – a benefit to them, their families and the larger community as demonstrated by years of research on the positive effects of early care and education," Ballivian said.
In addition to the Special Assistance program, the CDC also provides specialized services to its students. A majority of the children do not speak English as their first language and therefore need extra help to gain the skills they need to be successful in school. In addition, a number of the children have special needs.
CDC works with a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and psychologist to ensure that its children receive the type and amount of assistance necessary to succeed. The community grant from Transuban-Fluor has helped CDC assess the children and provide them with special services.
"We are committed to providing the best care and education to the families and children we serve," Ballivian said. "We are working hard to ensure that children are welcomed into the program and throughout the day have the opportunity to participate in activities that will get them ready for life."
As a long-term partner to the community, Transurban-Fluor understands the importance of investing in the future.
"Transurban strives to be a valuable long-term partner to the communities in which we operate," said Tim Steinhilber, general manager of the 495 Express Lanes Project. "The ACCA Child Development Center provides quality education to children – the future of the community. We are proud to assist the CDC in its efforts to provide quality early childhood education to children in need."
The CDC is just one of the service programs ACCA offers. Founded in 1968, ACCA is a volunteer-driven organization providing day care, food assistance, rental assistance, furniture and other services to low-income families in the Annandale/Bailey's Crossroads area. Many of the programs were created to support the families initially enrolled in the CDC.
For more information about ACCA or the Child Development Center, visit http://www.accacares.org