The mission of Christina Kent Early Childhood Center (CKECC) is to serve the children of economically diverse working families with quality childcare, early education, and nutritional services in a safe and nurturing environment.
Christina Kent Early Childhood Center is a private, non-profit corporation founded in 1919. It is the oldest continuously operating child-care center in the Albuquerque area. Originally called the Albuquerque Day Nursery, the Center has maintained its guiding mission through the years.
In 1942, CKECC moved to the present site in downtown Albuquerque. The historic building was at one time a duplex and is approximately 100 years old. The unique architectural features of the building provide a home-like atmosphere that conveys feelings of warmth, nurturance, and safety.
Our staff of teachers creates an exceptional learning environment for the 62 children ages 2-5 who attend our program. They are supported by an Executive Director and office staff. The bilingual Family Liaison provides and important link between the staff and families.
For more than 10 years, CKECC has retained a five star childcare license. This is the highest licensing rating offered by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department. CKECC maintains accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional organization that offers accreditation only to exemplary early childhood programs. NAEYC accredited programs practice program quality improvement through rigorous self-study and validation. Nationally accredited programs help families, educators, and communities recognize the value of setting high standards for programs for young children.
The Center participates in the Federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, providing 2 meals and a snack each day that meet national nutritional guidelines for young children, Christina Kent supports healthy eating for eligible families, staff members, and community residents by acting as a monthly distribution site for the Mobile Food Pantry.
About 50% of our families are headed by single parents, most of whom are women. They are working to support their families, or going to school to improve their future employment prospects. Some are doing both!
Christina Kent Early Childhood Center is a vital resource for these parents.
Imagine what it means to our families knowing that their children are in a nationally accredited preschool, and are receiving nutritious meals from the USDA food program.
Since 1919, Christina Kent Early Childhood Center has been a place that mothers, fathers, and grandparents could trust to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children while they work or further their education.
Many of Christina Kent’s teachers also are going to school to earn their Associates or Bachelor degrees. Not only are they creating brighter futures for their families, they are establishing models for their own children about the importance of education.
I was empowered through the trust and confidence that these people had for me that I began to grow as a person..“I am a single mother of three wonderful children. I was brought to Christina Kent ten years ago when they gave me an opportunity to work as an assistant teacher in the toddler room. I found out that this was my calling. In 2006, Christina Kent once again believed in me and offered me a position in the administration department, which gave me the one opportunity to discover myself in a different light. I was empowered through the trust and confidence that these people had for me that I began to grow as a person and become a more knowledgeable and skilled mother. I learned to interact with families as they enrolled in the program and was able to relate and provide resources to other single mothers going through the same struggles. I am now a New Mexico T.E.A.C.H. scholar, a program that works in collaboration with my employer to provide support to the student while attending classes. I am half way to receiving my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.
I am glad there are people out there who are willing to see a person as willing and capable and not just another employee, because sometimes that one opportunity can go a very long way.”
Share Your Stories
We love to hear stories and reminiscences from former student and their parents. If you attended Christina Kent (or the Albuquerque Day Nursery as it was called in the 1920’s and 1930’s,) or know someone who did, we’d like to connect with you!
We are assembling the stories and will use them in connection with our 95th birthday, coming up in 2014. To submit your story fill out the form to the right or Contact Executive Director Allison Hendricks Smith by phone at (505)242-0557.