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Groundbreaking ceremony celebrates expansion of Annie’s Place

Groundbreaking ceremony celebrates expansion of Annie’s Place

Non-profit drop-in childcare center supports Parkland Health patients, staff

Purple hardhats and shovels will be present for a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled to celebrate the expansion of a drop-in childcare center used daily by Parkland Health patients and staff.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the media is invited to attend the event at noon at the Annie’s Place Learning Center, 2131 Butler Street, Dallas, 75235.

The expanded space at Annie’s Place, which originally opened in the Fall of 2020, will occupy 4,800 square feet of space on the eastern half of the existing building.

“We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Parkland Health and provide this much-needed resource to our healthcare heroes,” said Natalie Boyle, CEO and Founder of Mommies In Need.

Boyle, a Dallas mom who survived a cancer diagnosis and had twin toddlers, used her experience to address a significant need in the healthcare system, providing childcare that allows parents to attend their medical appointments. Her health crisis helped her to understand the daily challenges of balancing complicated medical conditions while being a parent to young children. While she had friends and family who could watch her children while she received treatment, she later realized that this is not always the case for all families.

After Boyle’s health battle was fought and won, her friend Annie was then diagnosed with colon cancer. Boyle started raising money to help pay for Annie’s childcare while she went to treatment. Soon after, Mommies in Need was born. The only nonprofit of its type in the nation, Mommies in Need helps to improve access to healthcare by removing the lack of childcare as a reason to miss preventative, general and emergency appointments.

Since then, Mommies In Need has been a partner with Parkland for Annie’s Place, in honor of the first mom they served who lost her battle in 2018.

With just over 100 spaces available for the children of Parkland staff, health system leadership and staff members continue to provide support and financial relief for employees with this childcare option. Annie’s Place is located on Parkland’s main campus and provides care from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for children 6 weeks old to PreK-4 age with before and after school options available.

“We’re always committed to providing benefit programs that support our team members. The opportunity to provide childcare on-site through Annie’s Place is an example of these valuable programs,” said Felicia Miller, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Parkland Health. “We are thankful for the continued partnership with Annie’s Place in helping us offer accessible childcare and are excited to see these new services that can help our employees.”

The expansion of this facility will allow the organization to provide even more childcare for Parkland employees and its patients. Additionally, the organization offers care for children of emergency room patients, the siblings of children receiving medical care and in-home care for families during their recovery.

Annie’s Place Learning Center utilizes Frog Street Curriculum in both English and Spanish in its care of these children. Annie’s Place prides itself on its low teacher-to-child ratio, allowing each child to receive individual attention and care during his or her time at Annie’s Place.

The Annie’s Place Outdoor Playground and Learning Environment is funded by the Hamon Foundation and will include state-of-the-art playground equipment for STEM learning, a looping trike path and covered outdoor learning spaces with opportunities for arts and musical instrument practice. The space will incorporate innovative design elements inspired by the Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE!) Texas, including looping pathways, vegetable gardens and a variety of play settings to enable infants through 5 years old to be active, learn in nature and develop motor skills.

Construction of the facility is anticipated to be completed in early 2024. To learn more about the program, you can visit www.mommiesinneed.org. Individuals who would like to donate to the construction of the new Annie's Place Learning Center can do so at Ways to Give - Donate - Parkland Foundation (istandforparkland.org).

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