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North College Park May Get 120-Seat Early Learning Center

Last week, the City Council approved a resolution in support of MD Senate Bill SB0331 for a capital appropriation of $250,000 for the College Park Early Learning Center.

The center will be built and operated by the Children’s Guild, a Maryland nonprofit with 65 years of experience, providing pre-school education for residents of College Park and the surrounding area.

According to Bill’s fact sheet, the learning center will be built in north College Park. The Children’s Guild doing business as College Park Early Learning Academy is negotiating a 15-year lease with the College Park United Methodist Church ( at 9601 Rhode Island Ave.) to occupy 10,000 square feet of an existing facility.

The Church’s leadership is currently assessing if a partnership with the Children’s Guild will be in the best interest of the Church. If the negotiation with the Church succeeds, the Children’s Guild will renovate a part of the Church’s property to provide a high-quality preschool to be run by the Children’s Guild on site.

The City Council discussed the proposed learning center at a worksession and expressed support. Last year, former Council member Nagle and I also met with the team members working on the project.

The College Park Early Learning Center, born out of a collaboration by the City and the University in 2014 to understand better what parents want for their children will be a state-of-the-art, project-based early childhood education center.

The center may potentially provide 120 children aged 3, 4, and 5 with a warm, welcoming place to learn how to make sense of their world. It will create more jobs in College Park. There will be opportunities for the community and university to collaborate with this center to build the community and provide more potential for students as they explore their surroundings.

Average class size is expected to be under 20. Each class will be served by two certified teachers. Students placed from UMD and other community colleges are also expected to join.

The center will be open year-round, 7:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a 10-month academic year. There will be a summer program.

The tuition for each student will be $1,150/month. The tuition for will be charged $300/week summer program.

The project’s capital cost is expected at $668,000. $250, 000 will come from State’s assistance funds.  The Children Guild is expected to spend the rest ($418,000).

Please note that the project is not a  “done-deal”. There are still some uncertainties about the project happening. That said, we’re committed to helping support the players involved and make this project a reality.

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