A Daycare Center Since the 70’s
In 1979 when the idea of childcare was still new, Blanca Knoll opened a daycare in her home with the help of her mother and aunt to support the new wave of working mothers. With an overwhelming response, it was soon relocated to a larger space at St. Lukeʼs Reformed Episcopal Church in New Providence where the Knoll family were church members.
With a seemingly endless wait list of families needing care at St. Lukeʼs, Santa Fe was established in classrooms leased from the New Providence United Methodist Church. Blancaʼs husband, Ron, became the director of the new daycare, Santa Fe, with Kitty Long, a former teacher at St. Lukeʼs, as assistant director. In 1996 the Knolls had the opportunity to temporarily relocate to South America. Kitty was promoted to Santa Feʼs director and the center once again continued to flourish with the number of families needing quality childcare continuing to exceed availability.
In 2002, Kitty approached then parent and current director Jane Cabildo about leasing the nearby Country Play School site to yet again expand their opportunities to serve children and working families. It was renamed Santa Fe II. When the site became available for purchase, Blanca, Kitty, Jane and their husbands became partners, later combining the ownership of the 2 centers into the Santa Fe Centers that exists today.
Why “Santa Fe”?
An often asked question concerns the origin of the center’s name, Santa Fe. Blanca chose to recognize her Colombian heritage and honor her mother, affectionately known as “Mona”, by choosing the name Santa Fe, from Santa Fe de Bogota, the official name of Bogota, Colombia, South America.
Hogar Santa Fe
While living abroad, Blanca and Ron established Hogar Santa Fe, a nonprofit daycare in a poor area of the city. Serving 36 children from 3 months to 5 years, it was established to provide those from a poor area with the equivalent program and professional leadership as those in the more affluent areas of the city. The center is open daily and provides 2 full meals, often the only food the children will receive. More important than food is the hope and opportunity it provides to free the children from poverty. Today some of the children are in high school and Hogar de Santa Fe is preparing to work alongside them as they plan for their college years. Santa Fe Centers is proud to provide a monthly donation to continue this important outreach program.