The first few years of a child’s life are some of the most formative, and the Diocese of St. Augustine is working hard to provide young children with the best education possible with St. Clare Early Learning Center.
St. Clare will officially open on Monday, August 10. And while school districts across Florida struggle to find ways to protect faculty and students from COVID-19, the diocese’s early learning centers have remained open throughout the pandemic, providing parents a safe place for their children to stay while they return to work.
Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine will bless and dedicate the building on August 22, at 10 a.m. Several dignitaries will be on hand for the ceremony. The early learning center is located at 307 Franciscan Way in Yulee (32097), in Wildlight, a master-planned community by Raydient Places + Properties in Nassau County near I-95 and A1A. It is the ninth early learning center built by the diocese in recent years. The diocese owns and operates five early learning centers, and four centers are parish-based.
“We are so excited to bring a Catholic early learning center to Nassau county, especially to the new Wildlight community, as our first step,” said Deacon Scott Conway, superintendent of Catholic schools of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
“As families entrust their children to us, as our mission statement says, ‘[w]e believe in providing programs that truly enhance the emotional, social, physical, spiritual and intellectual growth of young children.’ We are looking forward to continued expansion on this piece of property with a Catholic church, school and parish hall.”
St. Clare will serve children as young as six weeks to 4-year-olds and can accommodate up to 177 children. Catholic school officials expect to draw families from Yulee, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, and even Southern Georgia, including Kings Bay Navy Base, of the Diocese of Savannah. Construction began last fall on the 19,810 square-foot building, and it cost $6.2 million.
“We are proud to welcome St. Clare Early Learning Center to Wildlight and further our commitment to investing in the lives and futures of our community’s children,” said Chris Corr, president of Raydient Places + Properties.
“As the area’s first religion-centered educational system, St. Clare expands upon our current high-quality learning facilities by providing a nurturing environment where students can learn in their faith, values and academics. We look forward to the meaningful and impactful education opportunities that it will bring.”
To learn more about St. Clare Early Learning Center, visit www.stclareelc.org.
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