St. Mary Expansion Offers Relief for Nashville’s Child Care Needs

St. Mary Villa Child Development Center is emerging from last year’s twin crises of deadly storms and the COVID-19 pandemic with an expanded campus and increased enrollment.

Located at 1704 Heiman Street and part of the St. Vincent de Paul Church campus, the school sits in the middle of Nashville near Fisk University.

Executive director Alyssa Garnett-Arno advocated for the conversion of former classrooms of the St. Vincent School into rooms for the center’s various age groups and moved a portion of older students to the new rooms upstairs and renovated the bottom floor classrooms for additional infant care, an age group in high demand of care for parents now that the pandemic has forced couples to quarantine for over a year.

The resulting four new classrooms aided in capacity and Garnett-Arno said they expect to fill the additional classroom spots between now and the end of this year. “There’s a continued interest in and demand for quality child care in an educational environment,” she said.

The Center serves a diverse population of students, culturally and economically.

“This is life to a tee,” she said of the Center’s student demographics. “Not everybody has the same opportunities, but in these four walls everyone has equal opportunities.”

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