Nearly seven months after being flooded by the Susquehanna river, one of the largest day cares in Wyoming County is back where it belongs.
Monday was the grand re-opening of the Hickory Dickory Dock Day Care in Tunkhannock.
Children and teachers were happy to be back in their classrooms, and families who had to take kids elsewhere can return now too.
The children were jumping for joy. They may not have known how big a day it is at the day care, but those who watch over all the boys and girls certainly do.
Where they were playing was under seven feet of water almost seven months ago.
Owner Jill Dobrinski showed us around the finished product and showed us what it looked like when she found the Susquehanna River surrounding her day care.
“It’s kind of like a dream. It’s hard to believe it was seven months ago and the water was up to there. Now that it’s all said and done we’re just going to enjoy it now and get some relaxation, I hope,” Dobrinski said.
There were 90 or so children there before the flood. Now that is down to about 60, ages eight weeks to 12 years.
The whole day care operated out of one room shortly after the September flood while the rest of the renovations were underway, meaning some parents had to find other child care.
“We had to tell some people that you can’t come here until we get back over to the big side so that was tough because we’re licensed for 175 kids so we never have a waiting list. So that was hard to do,” Dobrinski added.
Now that all the repairs are done. each different age group is in its own classroom. Before all ages were all together in one room.
“It was cramped. You had kids and toys everywhere trying to make sure every kid had something to play with and losing everything,” said day care worker Dawn Baker.
The staff loves having all their space and separation back.
“Oh it was a lot of work. It was a long seven months and it looks wonderful. It was worth it,” Baker added.
The grand re-opening is in memory of the woman who started the day care in 1988.
Dobrinski’s mom, “Miss Nance,” died of a heart attack a month after the flood.
“She’s definitely here and loving it,” Dobrinski said.
That day care in Tunkhannock has been getting more and more children from families relocating with the natural gas industry. Now they won’t have to turn away any of them or any other children.