A daycare center that is being cheerfully welcomed by some, and strongly opposed by others, received approval to open early next year.
The “Little Ambassadors Academy,” a full day preschool serving children ages 2-5 had its use permit renewed by the Arlington County Board, keeping it on track to open a third location in February or March 2019.
Already approved for demolition and interior adjustments, the daycare is remodeling two properties at 5801 and 5901 Lee Highway.
The daycare said it is expanding to meet demand. The new site will serve up to 155 children, and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
One community group requested the daycare lower the number of children permitted. Additionally, county employees said many neighbors have reached out to the to express concerns about parking and traffic challenges they believe the center will bring. Some have gone as far as pursuing legal action.
The Loudoun County Board unanimously voted to renew the permit. Many board members were sympathetic to residents concerns, but said ultimately, they won’t understand the impact the day care has on the community, and if corrective action is necessary, until after it opens.
“I am not in a position to say that anyone’s fears of what could happen are not reasonable, but also, I can’t find a reasonable way to mitigate something that hasn’t happened.” said Vice Chair Christian Dorsey.
The daycare provided WDVM with a statement that said in part, “…we have heard the concerns of our neighbors and we will actively work with the community to mitigate issues once we are operational in 2019.”
Read the full statement:
“We are pleased with the Arlington County Board’s unanimous decision to re-approve the use permit for Little Ambassadors’ Academy in Arlington, VA. We are so proud of the community we have built at Little Ambassadors’ Academy and look forward to providing the much-needed childcare service service to even more families in Arlington. We have a proven track record on the Lee Highway corridor and are ecstatic to enter the Leeway-Overlee neighborhood. We have heard the concerns of our new neighbors and we will actively work with the community to mitigate issues once we are operational in 2019. While we understand that change can be difficult, we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for our families and the community. We look forward to welcoming new families to this campus in early 2019.”