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New day care center is officially open

By Staff | Apr 26, 2017

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held on Saturday, April 22 at 145 Ashler Manor Drive, Muncy, for the official opening of the FUN Academy’s new child care center. Left to right: Jason Dohl, General Contractor; Vince Mateo, Williamsport Chamber of Commerce; Vickie Johnson, Operations Manager with Alyssa Kepner, and Samuel Fuller; Tom Neuhard, President; and Jim Ross, Board of Directors and Co-founder.

MUNCY – Out with the old, in with the new. The FUN Academy, LLC now has a new location and it became official on Saturday, April 22 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. Located in Muncy Township on 145 Ashler Manor Drive, the new day care center will now have more room for open enrollment. According to Sheila M. Ross, of the Board of Directors, the facility can now accommodate up to 150 children. The certificate of occupancy and official approval from the state came on Monday, April 15. There was a current enrollment of almost 40 children using space at the lower level of the Church of Resurrection in Muncy. “It was hard sometimes to find open slots for day care.”

Pastor Rev. Glenn McCreary of the church said the children will be missed as they move into their new (and much larger) facility. “But we wish them well,” he said. A mass of celebration was held in their honor on Thursday, April 20.

The FUN Academy Child Care Center is an entity of Families United Network, a non-profit agency that has offices across the state of Pennsylvania. Manager, Thomas Neuhard said his staff embraced the 3 million dollar project for Muncy. He spoke at the beginning of the ceremony explaining the many unique features that went into the 15,000 sq. foot expansion at the Ashler Manor campus.

A sick bay has been added and will be staffed by a medical professional. “This also will be open on some of the holidays,” Neuhard said, a feature that will help working parents.

A full commercial kitchen is operated by Jordan Homet, who has been employed as a certified head chef with Families United Network since 2013. He will be preparing breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

A sickbay area has been added at FUN Academy's new day care center, a big help to working parents and caregivers.

Now there are both indoor and outdoor recreation areas, and the latest LED lighting technology with motion sensors has been added. Foremost in their minds, was the added security with cameras placed all throughout the building. Cameras are mounted outside to inform parents and caregivers electronically by using their registered thumb prints for identification and to open the doors.

Back up generators are also installed in case there is a power loss. Many state of the art aspects have been added into the building by working closely with “all tradesmen.”

“Enrollment has increased significantly. This is a wonderful start,” Neuhard said. “Two years ago there were 24 children on the verge of closing. Now we are opening a great community resource.”

He shared his experience working with the Muncy Lions one night last week assembling all of the toys and furniture. “It was like Christmas Eve on steroids,” he said with laughter.

Neuhard also remarked that services for older adults will be incorporated soon and this was taken into consideration during the design and planning stages. They worked with Jason Dohl, a contractor from Hughesville. The addition will be called Liberty Manor Senior Care, a facility designed for transitional day care for older adults. They also hope to add a swimming pool.

Co-founder James Ross spoke of the beginnings of the organization from 1994 when the agency started with foster care. “We now have 200 employees across 4 corners of Pennsylvania in 60 counties that are dedicated to strengthening families.”

The FUN Academy is licensed by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services and will be inspected on an annual basis. Services are provided from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and closed during certain holidays.

Comprehensive enrollment packets are available at FUN Academy, LLC, 145 Ashler Manor Drive. Danielle McFadden is the Center Director and she can be reached at 570-445-3813.