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Sunday, January 31, 2016

ACCA childcare center wants to expand

The Annandale Adult Day Center occupied some rooms on the right side of the building.
The departure of the Annandale Adult Day Center from the building at 7200 Columbia Pike has left some vacant space that the ACCA Child Development Center (CDC) would like to expand into.

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.


  1. The Annandale Adult Day Care Center was NOT under utilized. A center nearby was so the two combined. I'd love to see ACCA get the building. The county may have already made a deal with someone you never know.

  2. How much money would that cost the taxpayers for additional 40 to 50 kids? We already have budget issues in the county.

  3. I'm not quite sure how much it would cost the taxpayer since ACCA, which runs the program, is a nonprofit funded by community churches, foundations and individual donors. ITM, the 40 or 50 additional children, no doubt, have working parents, whose employment situation would be much more stable if reliable day care were available. They pay taxes, too.

  4. It would be wonderful of ACCA could lease the other side. How could one NOT support the idea of expanding an already extraordinary program? I would rather see my tax dollars going towards programs like this than other things the county/government spends it on.

  5. The taxpayers pay alot of the daycare. In 2014 it received $1,600,558 from government subsidy. In 2013 $1,360,966 in government subsidy.

  6. The subsidy covers the cost of tuition for working families, daycares,(not only ACCA),charge a fee to the families and those who qualify, receive that support based on their income. ACCA also receives other funds through donations that come from individuals and churches in the community.
    As a parent of a child enrolled at ACCA, I can tell you, families DO benefit from it. There is also extensive research that proves high quality programs like ACCA have an investment return that could be as high as $8 for every dollar spent. I fully support this initiative.

  7. That amount was money given to ACCA childcare only. The churches donated to ACCA childcare was only about $500. The family part of the the tuition was a very small amount compared to the subsidies. If the new 40 to 50 students were fully paid for by the parents then I too would support it.

    1. A friend of mine had two children when she was in her very early 20s. Her parents had passed away when she was younger, so she had been raised by her older sisters (who were unable to support her once the boys came along). Her husband was working at the time, but unless she had gotten a good job, they would have become a "welfare family."

      Enter the good folks at friend was able to get training and a job as a radiology tech during the day while her boys were in preschool at the child care center, which allowed her and her husband to continue to pay taxes and raise their children without other public financial support.

      The boys, thanks in part to the excellent start they got at ACCA (I'm not exaggerating), grew up as young men of good character, were accepted into two Virginia colleges, and are about to graduate, leave their family nest, and pay taxes of their own.

      As a teacher at a nearby elementary school that enrolls some ACCA "alums," I can tell you about the positive effect that a program like that has--not only on the children, but on the entire family. Local churches and their individual members donate more than just cash; though that may not show up on budget reports, it makes a tangible difference. As another poster here said, the staff there are wonderful, and worth more than the money that goes into the program. Don’t doubt that our community reaps the benefits.

    2. I do appreciate people like your friends but I gave up alot to have my children in daycare and I did not receive any subsidies. I do not feel that the $2 million most likely spent on ACCA last year is a great way to spend tax payers money. Keep in mind that this is only one facility how much more money is spent as other facilities? My taxes keep rising and I for one and tired of it.