|The Annandale Adult Day Center occupied some rooms on the right side of the building.|
The CDC, a full-day, affordable child care program for children 3 months to 5 years old operated by the nonprofit Annandale Christian Community for Action, occupies most of that building, but it’s bursting at the seams.
The center has an enrollment limit of 183, which has been stretched to 185, and has more than 400 children on a waiting list, says Executive Director Maria Isabel Ballivian. It had to convert the library into extra classroom space to handle the demand.
The building, which had once been Annandale Elementary School, is owned by Fairfax County, and it’s up to the Facilities Management Department to recommend what to do with the vacant space.
The Annandale Adult Day Center program vacated the building in December. The county had decided to close the center because it was underutilized. The elderly clients were dispersed to other facilities, including the Lincolnia Adult Day Center.
“We were heartbroken to see them go. We had a good relationship with them,” Ballivian says.
Ballivian has reached out to the county’s facilities and social services departments and the Board of Supervisors to urge them to allow the CDC to lease the space. That would allow CDC to serve an additional 40 or 50 children, depending on how it’s used, she says.
Possibilities include a before and after-school program serving the siblings of children in the child care center, a program for children with special needs, or an expanded program for infants.
There’s a huge need for before and after-school programs in the area, Ballivian notes. There are long waiting lists for the programs based at local schools. If the CDC could provide that service for siblings of children already at the center, parents wouldn’t have to drive to separate places to pick up their kids.
The Annandale Adult Day Center program had some large rooms that the CDC could use for meetings or educational programs for parents. The CDC doesn’t have a large meeting room so it has to conduct back-to-school nights over three or four evenings.
The CDC is a huge asset to the community, providing holistic support for families and donating food, clothes, and shoes to every child, Ballivian says.