DCA Child Care Center, Inc., doing business as Ann & Andy Child Care Center has been owned and operated by myself, Deborah Asadoorian, my sister, Cheryl Anstett and our mother Anna Fucci, for the past 36 years.
In 1973, my father was not well enough to stay alone all day, so Mom gave up her part time day job to be around for him. Dad felt bad about this and suggested we fix up the downstairs, run an ad, and care for a child or two. Cheryl, who had just moved back from Florida, offered to help. I had just graduated from high school, and decided that I wanted to help as well. Having us all help out allowed us to take an additional child or two.
In the beginning, the three of us watched one child for a while. It wasn’t long before we had fifteen children! It was a real mom and pop kind of place. We had a great backyard that abutted a park, where we took the children regularly.
Unfortunately, in November of 1976, Dad passed away and the neighbors decided they wanted us out. We contested this in town hall, but we were overruled. Cheryl and I went back to school full time, and Mom took care of Cheryl’s daughter Courtney.
We realized that watching children was all we wanted to do, so it wasn’t long before we were back at town hall fighting for our cause once again. Sadly we were again denied. However, the town building inspector told us about a house that would suit our needs. We signed a six year lease and we were back in business. Before long we had thirty children and were scrambling to hire additional staff members to help us with our blossoming business. Roberta, Audrey, Carol and Margie joined us back then and amazingly are still with us today! Sadly, five years into our six year lease, we were informed by our landlord that his daughter has decided to open a business just like ours and wanted our rental home! Once again we found ourselves looking for a suitable location for our operation. We located two suitable buildings and used them to care for our children, now ranging in age from infants to four years old. Soon we were taking care of over sixty kids a day! Two years later the buildings were for sale and once again we were forced to search for a new building. We purchased our current location which was suitable for about half of our children. In 1991 we consolidated our schools after constructing a building large enough to do so. Today we have over one hundred forty children and forty staff members!
Thirty Six years after opening our doors, we feel we are still that mom and pop company. A place where the kids call my mom, Grandma, and can often be heard saying Aunt Debbie or Aunt Cheryl. When you walk in the hallway of the Infant and Toddler building, you can see the faces of some of the children who have graduated from our school, and continue to send us pictures of themselves yearly. You can also see our family pictures which are proudly shared by my mother with any visitor who comes in. To us, family is of paramount importance. We are thankful to be a part of the lives of all of our children, their families, and our staff.