In May, we talked to Ms. Laurie Clark-Horton, owner of L.A.C.C. Child Care Academy on the West Side of Detroit about the renovations she was excited to begin in preparation for re-opening her Early Child Care facility with a new COVID-19 “friendly” interior as well as upgraded exterior. 

The funds for this incredible transformation have come as a result of the partnership with Matrix Human Services Child Care Partnership Program and IFF, a Community Development Financial Institution that strengthens non-profits and communities with real-estate lending and consulting

Ms. Clark-Horton explained why the renovations were much appreciated and truly needed, 

“I’ve been here from approximately 2004, I was licensed in 2004, and I am glad to finally see, it’s been 16 years, I’m going to upgrade to a new facing and building. I’m very excited about it. It’s due to Matrix and the help of IFF and I’m very very grateful it will no longer look like this soon but I’m very grateful for the number of years I’ve been able to keep the building.”

Renovations were largely due to Coronavirus so the building could be used safely by staff, families, and children.

“All the renovations up until this point are… because of COVID and we had to make sure that my staff, the students, the parents and everybody was safe because it was too open and there would be no possible way of social distancing. We got rid of all carpets due to COVID-19 because we didn’t think it was clean or safe at this point for children to be on.”

L.A.C.C. Child Care Academy originally could only accept 16 children due to building limitations. They have now been able to increase their capacity to double that number, allowing for 32 children to learn, play, and grow in the new facility. 

See photos of the renovations below

Because of the partnership that L.A.C.C. Child Care Academy has with Matrix Human Services, funding and resource support is offered by Matrix while leaving the operation to Ms. Clark-Horton. Matrix Early Head Start teachers work with L.A.C.C. staff and a new office was also installed to accommodate Matrix staff in the building.

Director of Matrix Human Services Child Care Partnership Program, Ms. Kathleen Coakley said about the renovations,

“We’ve been in partnership with L.A.C.C. since 2015. We started with 16 children. We are now at 32 children at this location. When we first came to the building in 2015, it was one big open space, no walls dividing the classrooms, it was very loud, and since then, Laurie has been able to transform her center into individualized classrooms with walls, and windows, and doors, and the transformation has just been remarkable. All the early childhood furniture and some of the renovations to the building have been provided through our grant, with the Office of Head Start, Matrix Human Services, to be able to help Laurie in her journey to transform her center in a very premier Early Childhood location on the west side of Detroit.”