YORKTOWN, N.Y. – As women entered the workforce in the 1960s, and childcare became scarce, the Country Children’s Center in Katonah opened, and provided an option to working families in Northern Westchester.
In the 50 years since its inception, the nonprofit organization has gone from offering care to pre-school-aged children in clusters at a few local churches, to working with 500 children across five sites and during before- and after-school programs at Katonah, Lewisboro, Bedford and Yorktown school districts.
On June 4, the town board recognized the center’s presence in the community, and delivered a proclamation thanking those who perpetuate the center and serve the community. Polly Peace, the center’s executive director of 30 years, was singled out in recognition of her work within the organization.
“With the hiring of Polly Peace as its executive director 30 years ago, the Country Children's Center entered a new era of growth and expansion,” said Supervisor Michael Grace at the June 20 televised town board meeting.
Under her direction, the center opened its first free-standing childcare site on Route 35 in Katonah in 1991, according to the proclamation. Partnerships with local corporations, and the opening of four additional sites during that time, all developed under Peace’s tenure.
“The town of Yorktown recognizes the most excellent service provided by the Country Children's Center and the board says thanks on behalf of our community,” Grace said.
Deputy Supervisor Gregory Bernard also presented a proclamation to Peace on behalf of state Sen. Terrence Murphy.
Peace said the 30 years went by “very quickly” and on behalf of the center, said they are “very proud to be a part of the community,” with two of their five locations on Kitchawan and Pines Bridge roads in Yorktown.
“We do consider this to be very important work,” Peace said. “We take children from infancy up through middle school-age and that’s a long-term relationship with families.”
She added that the support from the town and community is appreciated.
“We hope this relationship will be maintained for many, many years to come,” she said. “Thank you so much for recognizing us.”
The center will hold a “Party and Picnic” to celebrate its 50th anniversary at Lewisboro Town Park, in South Salem on Sept 16. Admission is $25 per car in advance and $25 per car at the door. For more information, visit countrychildrenscenter.org or call Deric Peace at 914-242-0520, ext. 510.