People assume it’s just a church, they have no idea the amount of different things they can access here. —Erin Hennessey, Assistant Director
At Woodland, we believe in loving children and helping them find their place in God’s story. We do that through our Heroes Gate program, but also through our partnership with Close To My Heart Preschool.
Close To My Heart has a simple goal: “To help children blossom intellectually, socially, and emotionally while having purposeful fun along the way.” They provide care for infants to school age kids, and keep our hallways filled with the laughter and energy of children on weekdays.
Assistant Director Erin Hennessey says that Close To My Heart is able to make such a big impact in the community because they provide quality services that are affordable—a big deal when childcare is so expensive!
Being based out of Woodland also provides a one-stop-shop where families can find food and housing assistance as needed. For Erin, this makes it easy to refer families to other services that might be helpful. One parent even found Close To My Heart while Woodland hosted Project Home, a program providing overnight shelter for families who are temporarily without housing.
You may remember that during COVID school shutdowns, Close To My Heart stepped in to help families navigate distance learning. (We did a story on their amazing work here!) It proved to be a big help in a chaotic time. One of our favorite stories from that period was about a little girl who needed some extra help after a rough start. As she made progress, a staff member told her, “I’m so proud of you,” she answered, “I’m proud of me too! When I grow up, I’m going to be a teacher and a coach!”
One of the key resources Close To My Heart provides is early intervention. Michelle, a Close To My Heart parent shared this experience, “The Close To My Heart team recognized that one of our sons was struggling with speech and introduced us to the speech and occupational therapy clinic that comes to their site to provide support. This meant that our child could get the help he needed to be on track before starting school. Both of our boys have been attending Close To My Heart for several years and are now elementary students that are some of the top students in their grades!”
Laura, another parent, found a good fit at Close To My Heart when her childcare center unexpectedly closed. “After countless tours at various centers and daycares, we were left with no openings or options. A friend suggested Close To My Heart. Out of desperation we reached out and not only found out there was availability for both of our kids, but it was affordable and high quality care. The learning opportunities available to our children are incredible and we know they are thriving every day. Close To My Heart goes above and beyond in every single way.”
We’re grateful for Close to My Heart and the fact that we share a vision for families and kids. If you are interested in learning more, check out their website here. Enrollment is currently open!