All Five celebrates expansion with new facilities at Menlo Park campus | September 9, 2022 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - September 9, 2022

All Five celebrates expansion with new facilities at Menlo Park campus

by Angela Swartz

Seven years in the making, teachers, parents and supporters turned out on Aug. 26 to celebrate the grand opening of All Five childcare center in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park.

To fulfill the school's mission of serving children for their first five years of life, the nonprofit expanded its facilities by installing new portable buildings at its 1391 Chilco St. campus, a $2 million project.

The ceremony took place on a new large canopy that shielded teachers and kids from the elements while playing on an outdoor porch days before the fall term began for students. Attendees then toured the new facilities.

Two-year-old Emmanuel of East Palo Alto has been talking a lot more since he started at All Five, said his father, Jorge Molina, at the grand opening. He said Emmanuel enjoys playing outside and with instruments.

Jenna Wachtel Pronovost, whose two children, Ruthie, 18 months, and Ezra, 4, attend All Five, called the center a "nurturing and loving environment." She said she especially values that her kids are able to foster relationships with children who come from different backgrounds.

"We tell everyone we know to come here," said Wachtel Pronovost, who lives in Redwood City and is also executive director of the Ravenswood Education Foundation, a nonprofit which supports the Ravenswood City School District.

Enrollment priority given to children from the Belle Haven neighborhood and Ravenswood City School District communities, children of preschool staff and the siblings of current and former students, according to the school's website. The school offers subsidies through San Mateo County to families who might not ordinarily be able to afford to send their children.

Director Carol Thomsen said that the idea of offering high quality, socio-economically diverse child care was bold, noting it was a Silicon Valley startup with equity of a different kind.

Karen Pace, All Five's strategic projects manager, said people have described All Five as a "really healing place."

"All Five is an exemplary early childhood learning program, and I value the contributions All Five brings to our early childhood collaborative that includes other early childhood programs offered within Ravenswood City School District," said Ravenswood City School District Superintendent Gina Sudaria in an email.

Construction

Construction workers were originally set to retrofit three portable classrooms — through a lease agreement with the Ravenswood City School District — adjacent to Belle Haven School. Ultimately one of the original portables was not certifiable and the other two required extraordinary measures to be cleared for use by the Department of State Architects. The expanded facilities will serve in lieu of the refurbished portables, Pace said.

The Kriewall-Haehl Infant Toddler Center opened last fall, and the preschoolers moved into the new buildings on May 31, according to a school newsletter.

Enrollment and cost

There are 50 children enrolled this school year, ranging in age from six weeks to pre-kindergarten, according to Pace. Of those children, 38 are in the preschool program, seven are toddlers and five are infants.

The monthly enrollment fee for the infant and toddler programs is $2,600, but subsidies are offered based on family income. Preschool costs $2,400 per month.

There are currently three open slots in the preschool program, according to Pace.

For more information on All Five, go to allfive.org.

Email Staff Writer Angela Swartz at [email protected]

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