by Terry Rogers
Although there is still some permitting and zoning that needs to take place, Debbie Toner and her son, Sean, are excited to bring their Beach Babies Child Care services to Milford. The new location will be located on Marshall Street on property the company recently purchased.
“We saw the area was growing,” Ms. Toner said. “With the new hospital coming in, we felt it was time to look into a Milford location. We’ve also had parents and staff from the area ask when we were coming to Milford and we just felt the time was right.”
The Delaware Stars for Early Success, a quality rating and improvement system used by the Delaware Department of Education, ranks Beach Babies as a Star Level 5. This is the highest level of achievement for programs in Delaware and indicates that the school scores highly on assessments conducted on their programs. Children who attend the daycare are provided hands-on learning along with outdoor play to help them achieve higher levels in school.
“We have a curriculum with lesson plans based on the requirements of DOE,” Ms. Toner said. “The children have portfolios even as infants. We conduct assessments and track each child as they move into year one, year two and so on. This helps us identify any red flags so that they can be addressed at a much earlier age.” Mr. Toner, who is the Chief Operations Officer at Beach Babies, explained that all children enrolled learn through activities that are based in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Each week the school offers a different theme. Children are also provided breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Beach Babies also works with the State of Delaware to provide daycare services for low income families. They accept children from the infancy to age 12 for before and after school care. They also offer a summer camp program for school aged children that includes field trips to the library, the post office and other locations.
“We also provide transportation if the school district does not,” Mr. Toner said. “If a student attends a different school than the center’s attendance area, we can provide transportation using our own bus.”
Beach Babies has been in business since 1995 and has locations in Townsend, Lewes and Rehoboth. They also offer programs like swim, dance, soccer and other extra-curricular activities to children that are geared toward three and four year old youth. The new facility in Milford will be a brand new building, approximately 12-14,000 square feet that is two stories. The Toner’s plan to house older children on the second floor. A townhouse community is already started on the back half of the parcel and the new Beach Baby center will be located at the entrance to the community. They hope to have the new facility open by June 2020.
“The Toner family and I worked diligently for almost two years to find the right location and overall deal that felt right,” Wes Comer of Masten Realty said. “The Marshall Street site provides a south Milford location with easy access to both Route 1 and 113. It is in walking distance to Lulu and Mispillion Elementary and just up the road from Evelyn Morris. We felt this location provides the convenience for pick up/drop off and afterschool busing.”
The Toner’s say that they have an open door for parents who want to learn more about their center and what they do.
“Any parent who wants to learn more can visit our Facebook page at Beach Babies at Milford,” Mr. Toner said. “We will be posting updates on the page along with artist renderings and designs. They can also visit our website at Beachbabies.com or give us a call to arrange a tour of one of our facilities.”
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