The Belmont Child Care Association, Inc. (BCCA), whose board chairman is horse owner and real estate developer Michael Dubb, today announced that its new childcare center, serving families and children of backstretch workers, would open this summer at Saratoga Race Course. The 4,300-square-foot center will be located on the Oklahoma Training Track side of track.
The facility, which has been in the works for a decade and was funded by Dubb and his wife, Lee, will be named Faith’s House in honor of Michael’s late mother, and will provide childcare and early education programs for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children of backstretch workers. The center will be open seven days a week from 5am–5pm to accommodate the schedules of backstretch workers and horsemen.
“All working parents deserve to know that their children are being cared for in a safe, healthy and enriching environment during the workday,” said Dubb in a statement. “We are thrilled to extend this important program to the hardworking families of the Saratoga backstretch community, who provide a vital service to the racing community.”
The Saratoga facility is not the first one the BCCA is behind; a sister center, Anna House, is located on the Belmont Park backstretch and serves families there. More than 1,000 students have participated in Anna House’s programs since it first opened in 2003.
The center’s opening coincides with the kickoff to the annual summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which welcomes approximately 950 backstretch workers and their families to the track. This summer’s track season is a special one, to say the least, as no spectators were allowed inside the track’s gates during 2020, due to the pandemic. (The opening of the new center is contingent upon licensing approval from New York State and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.)
“The backstretch community is the foundation of the racing industry,” said New York Racing Association (NYRA) President and CEO David O’Rourke. “All of us at NYRA extend our sincere gratitude to Michael and Lee, and the entire BCCA staff for their continued dedication and commitment to increasing access to affordable and reliable childcare for families on the backstretch. I would also like to thank our facilities team for their work on this project. NYRA is proud to host this new center of childhood education.”
Faith’s House will be operated by Bright Horizons, which manages early childhood education programs at more than 1,000 childcare centers.