Centennial pre-school finds help after 10 day closure

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 20:41:01-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Joshua Early Childhood Center, forced to close due to flooding, has made finding a new place for its students a priority.

“The school is for kids with and without disabilities,” said Sarah Zartman, the center’s behavioral specialist. “We serve kids on the autism spectrum and as well as kids without disabilities in a pre-school setting.”

About 10 days ago, a pipe burst, flooding the building.

“We walked into our building and we stepped in water and it was a mess,” said Zartman. “Fortunately, we have so many staff here that we are one to one ratio. For every kid there’s a staff member, and those employees were able to go to people’s houses and provide childcare.”

According to the school, it serves about 55 families, which is why the directors worked hard to find a replacement facility for its kids.

“It’s really hard for these children to be out of their program,” said Wendy Miller, who has a son that attends Joshua school. “A lot of the kids rely on routines, and not being able to have those routines can have terrible effects. Some of them are learning to talk for the first time. But the center did amazing finding a new place so fast.”

“My son is in between – he was born premature,” said Barbara Cutarelli, who has a son that attends the school. “A lot of people don’t understand the needs of a premature child, so one thing good for me since I’ve had my son home for the last 10 days is the amazing work they’ve done with him.”

The school was able to find a replacement facility ten days later.

“The community outreach was incredible, but also the response to us was incredible," said Zartman. "Everyone wanted to help it was just a matter of if they had space or not.”

The school’s directors found the place Brave Church, which opened its doors for the 50 kids the school has.

“It was so fun for me to watch those from Joshua school bring stuff into our building today, and the joy on their faces knowing it's going to make a big difference in the lives of those kids,” said Jeff Schwarzentraub, the pastor of the church.

The volunteers of parents and staff helped move all the supplies from the old building to the new, and plan on starting back up the facility on Tuesday.

The center still needs help while they settle in. If you want to help, go to their website.