Englewood day care trying to acquire land to help lower costs for new state-of-the-art facility

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Little Angels Family Day Care has been a staple in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood on the South Side for over 20 years.

With close to 90% of kids who go on to CPS gifted, magnet or selective enrollment schools, Little Angels not only provides quality day care but serves as a safe haven in a neighborhood riddled with violence.

"Anytime you are in a crisis, you can call them to speak to one of the administrators or team members always giving a helping hand," said parent and volunteer, Cherelle Bilal.

For two decades, Little Angels has shared space with a church, but city and state grants are helping the center build a new state-of-the-art facility down the street.

"Currently, we serve around 44 children and I think we can triple that with a new facility," said volunteer Justin Morgan.

Plans were full steam ahead until COVID hit, and supply issues and labor costs skyrocketed.

"We are looking at the numbers for buildings costs [and] labor has almost doubled," said -Little Angels Family Day Care Exec. Director Nashone Greer-Adams.

Now, Little Angels is $800,000 over budget. Greer-Adams said a portion of the money can be made up through savings in fire rating costs if the facility can be built further away from a home next door. However, the only way to do that is to acquire this small parcel of land, which is privately owned and managed by a trust.

"If we obtain the lot, it will save us $462,000," Greer-Adams said, but added that the owner refuses to respond to Little Angels requests.

The Little Angels community is confident it can get over its latest hurdle. After all, it has survived state and city budget cuts and stayed open through all of COVID.

"There are not too many high-quality day cares in this area. The ones we have, we need to build up more," Bilal said.

Parents said families in this neighborhood need Little Angels to survive and thrive.
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