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Gateway National Recreation Area
Highlands, NJ, 07732
United States

(732) 291-2368

A fully-licensed nonprofit child care and preschool located in the Fort Hancock Historic Landmark District of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.


Hancock Rehab on Right Track

Jon Crawford-Phillips

At long last, the National Park Service seems to be truly committed to preserving what remains of Fort Hancock’s crumbling buildings in a fully transparent manner. It is still too early to celebrate. But there is at least hope now that the possibility of a resurrection of sorts for the historic site is within reach.

Last year, the park service invited qualified individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations to submit written “expressions of interest” to refurbish and reuse some 35 buildings in the former military reservation in the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook. Earlier this month, the park service and the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee provided an overview of the 41 responses.

Click here to read the full article at The Asbury Park Press.

SHCCC Families Memorialize Victims of Newtown Shooting

Jon Crawford-Phillips

Parents, children and staff at the Sandy Hook Childcare Center in Monmouth County memorialized the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.


“We couldn’t let this day pass without saying a few words of remembrance of those lives that were tragically lost one year ago,” past president Dina Morford said. “We wanted to send our thoughts to the families and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary to let them know they are in our hearts and our prayers on this day.”

Children hung snowflake ornaments emblazoned with the names of shooting victims on a tree outside the center.

“It seemed like the right thing to do,” Morford said. “Since we were closed when it happened, they were always in the back of our minds. They went through such heartbreaks.

Click here to read the full article at

Sandy Hook Child Care Seeks Students and Solutions

Jon Crawford-Phillips

It’s been a tough year for the Sandy Hook Child Care Center.

“It’s been a series of unfortunate events,” the center’s executive director, Jessica Long, said about the last 12 months for the not-for-profit, state-licensed day care center, located at historic Fort Hancock.After the roughly 7-mile national recreation area was devastated in October 2012 by Super Storm Sandy, the park was closed. That resulted in the child care center’s forced closure for seven months, a time when it wasn’t earning tuition and parents were forced to seek alternatives. When the center reopened last spring, some of its students did not return.


The center is continuing to serve its children and working to rebound from recent setbacks, Long stressed.

“Over the last year from November to May, there were a lot of unknowns,” Long said.

One of those unknowns was whether the facility would be able to continue. “Thankfully, a lot of people helped out,” including parents and those who attended a September fundraiser, which has helped the facility continue operation.

Click here to read the full article at The Two River Times.

Please Save Our School!

Jon Crawford-Phillips

“There’s a bunch of little different reasons why being out here is ideal,” said Amanda Plantamura, the mother of a SHCCC student. “It’s basically like a little hidden gem out here.”

Because of its state-regulated small class sizes and relatively remote location, the Sandy Hook Child Care Center has been able to offer these unique educational opportunities to young children for more than 30 years.


But due to lingering problems caused by Hurricane Sandy, those opportunities – and the center itself – could vanish by year’s end.

“If everything stays the same, we will only be able to survive for the next couple months,” said Plantamura, who is also the center’s volunteer treasurer.

The center was one of the few “lucky” buildings on historic Sandy Hook to sustain no significant damage in the storm, suffering only a downed tree in its front yard.

However, representatives from the center told in February that due to the destruction the storm caused throughout the rest of 6-mile-long peninsula – such as decimated roads and utilities – the school was forced to close for several months.

Without tuition coming in, the center needed the help of donations from the community just to open its doors again by May 1.

Click here to read the full article at