Plans for a new Kensington School day care center at 3434 Central St. go before the Evanston City Council Monday night.

Responding to a request from neighbors opposed to the project, the operators of a competing daycare facility less than a mile away have provided a lengthy critique of Kensington’s proposal.

Mary and Andrew Fratini of The Goddard School of Skokie, located at 9651 Gross Point Road, say Kensington’s 35 proposed parking spaces are inadequate. Goddard has 38 spaces and a capacity of up to 188 children.

They also claim Kensington’s proposed staffing ratio would not meet state requirements and that there is no need for an additional for-profit child care facility in the area, except possibly for children under two years of age.

In an email to city staff responding to those claims, Charles Marlas of Kensington disputes the Goddard owners’ claims about required staff size.

He says the proposed school would be licensed for 164 students, 24 less than Goddard, and that the site could be redesigned, if the city requested, to increase the parking capacity from 35 to 39.

The Unity Church site on the southwest corner of Central Street and Gross Point Road. (Google Maps image)

The proposed new school at the corner of Central and Gross Point would replace the Unity on the North Shore church on the site.

The Land Use Commission voted 3-4 last month to recommend that the Council reject the day care center plans.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I drive through the intersection of Gross Point/Central/Crawford quite a bit. I do not buy that the day care would so much of a problem to traffic that the city should not allow it. An extra 30 to 40 cars in the morning and in the evening is not going to have a noticeable impact. Also, what use of the property could there be that would not generate traffic? The church that uses it now will move out, and I doubt that some other religious organization would take it over.

    As for whether or not the market needs another day-care, that should not be a concern for the City Council, unless they would planning to provide a subsidy, which they are not. That is only a concern for Kensington. If they set up a day care and get enough customers, then it means there is a need for them.

    1. Well said about market need for another day care not being something that should be a concern of the Council if no subsidy is provided (market demand should be a concern only of whoever is funding the venture, which should NOT be the Council).

  2. Meanwhile at 2814 Central (Little Green Tree House) parents leave their cars blocking Central Street during drop off and pick up times. The traffic around the proposed daycare would be a dream!

  3. There is another for profit daycare east of the proposed daycare by the fire station. They have very few if no off street parking. I drive past as part of my morning commute and the impact is minimal. The only issue I see is Goddard doesn’t want the competition. That’s a great reason to allow it. Encourage competition.

  4. Talk about making Evanston even more family unfriendly, with the sad condition of our school district and all the stuff going on there. Unbelievable. Young families are bypassing Evanston for Wilmette and beyond. Smart young families they are.

  5. No need for childcare? Not true. There are waitlists at all of the day care facilities in the area. Goddard included. Waitlists mean that families that need care have to hobble together plans until they have a slot, a big stressor for families with young children. Many families like the daycare programs because there is an educational component and strict safety oversight. As someone that has recently toured all of the day care facilities mentioned and put names on the list, another option is welcome! I also live in The 6th ward!

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