News & Notes

CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health to Open St. John Neumann School for Children and Families

Child Care CenterCHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is proud to announce plans to open the St. John Neumann School for Children and Families in 2020. The new school will be located at 401 Locust St. Columbia, Pennsylvania and will serve children 6-weeks to 5-years-old. The launch of this new program is a continuation of the nonprofit’s mission to improve the health of children and families in the Lancaster community.

The St. John Neumann School for Children and Families has been designed by Steve Funk of Lefevre Funk Architects, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Pyramid Construction, located in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, will serve as general contractor. CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health estimates that the complete project, including the purchase and renovation of the building, will cost up to $6.45 million.

The St. John Neumann School for Children and Families will have a unique family-focused approach that centers on the social-emotional development and health of the children and families served. Families whose children attend the school will benefit from having access to:

  • An on-site family wellness coach to support the development of healthy family dynamics.
  • A family wellness case manager who assists families in accessing support services and programs throughout the community, including but not limited to the CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health Dental Centers and Behavioral Health Center.
  • Daily meals and snacks for children accessing the Center that are freshly prepared on-site from locally sourced fruits, vegetables and meats.
  • A tuition discount program for residents of Columbia which makes childcare affordable through a sliding-fee discount determined by household income levels.

“Our family-focused approach to childcare revamps the traditional model of childcare to incorporate health and social-emotional development as the central focus of all of the Center’s academic activities and curriculums,” said Philip Goropoulos, president of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “We believe this new approach offers children the best opportunity to be successful now and in the future – not just academically but in everything they do.”

The need for increased access to professional and affordable childcare in Columbia was initially brought to the attention of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health from the advisory committee of Healthy Columbia – the organization’s community-driven initiative that is dedicated to providing and coordinating services and the investments necessary to create a thriving community in Columbia Borough. CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health estimates that more than 400 children and families may have a need for childcare and are unable to access the service in the Borough because of a lack of availability and additional barriers such as cost.

“While not every family may need or want childcare services, the service should be available, affordable and accessible for those families who do need or want to access a childcare program,” said Goropoulos. “The opening of the St. John Neumann School will help to meet the great need for professional childcare within Lancaster County and specifically within Columbia Borough.”

The school will be located in the same building as the existing CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health’s Columbia Dental Center, which currently is located on the first floor at 401 Locust St. Columbia, Pennsylvania. Although the Dental Center and the school will be located in the same building, each will have their unique entrances and will operate on distinct floors within the building. Renovations and construction on the building expansion are expected to begin in early 2019 and will not impact the Dental Center’s operation. The school is anticipated to open in early 2020.

“The school will feel like a home and will offer support not just to the children who will be entrusted to our care, but also to their families as we work together to create strong, happy and healthy children and families in Columbia Borough and throughout the Lancaster community,” said Goropoulos.