For 30 years, family-owned and operated ABC prides itself in continuing to provide a “home away from home” for children and their families!
Jolanta (Jakubiak) Matysiak has been a member of the Greenpoint community for over 50 years. She lived in Greenpoint since the time of her immigration from Poland as a young child. She completed an M.S.Ed. in school psychology, as she always had an interest in children and their learning. Jolanta was also very family-oriented and was committed to supporting her mother’s family business—Turysta Travel Agency, at 107 Nassau Avenue. For many years she worked as a travel agent and tour guide. In the mid-1970’s, when she began having a family, Jolanta realized that there were no convenient child-care options in the neighborhood.
Greenpoint’s lack of child-care options remained a frustration for Jolanta for many years and she always wished she could have done something about it. She imagined a loving “home away from home,” where any parent could leave a child even at a moment’s notice. Jolanta pictured large play spaces, filled with natural sunlight… warm, home-cooked meals, prepared fresh on the premises every day… happy children running around in their socks or slippers as if at home… a learning curriculum that incorporated Polish language and traditions… and well-educated, loving, and sensitive teachers.
In the early 1990’s, there was only one public daycare center in Greenpoint. An opportunity arose when a new building was built next door to the travel agency. The family travel agency moved to the storefront of 109 Nassau Avenue and Jolanta decided to take a chance on her dream and turn the second floor into a daycare center. In the spring of 1993, after 18 months of preparation, Jolanta’s vision became a reality. ABC Child Center, Inc. opened its doors to 45 children between the ages of 2–5 years. ABC Child Center became the first Polish-American daycare center in the New York City area and North Brooklyn’s first private daycare.
A New Chapter
In September of 2008, Jolanta passed the daycare along to her youngest daughter, Violetta (Matysiak) Horelik. Since that time, ABC has undergone many technological updates and changes in order to meet the needs of a new generation of parents. iPads were introduced into the classrooms to email parents daily reports and tablets were mounted in the hallways for parents to use while signing their children in and out of daycare amongst others. Whereas ABC’s original program was conducted primarily in Polish, with the change in Greenpoint’s demographics the program has adjusted to suit children of a diverse and multi-cultural environment.
In February of 2011, the storefront of 109 Nassau Avenue became vacant and an opportunity for expansion arose. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Violetta also wanted to fill a void in a way that can meet Greenpoint’s needs. With the increasing demand for infant and toddler care, Violetta envisioned a carefully designed space for the youngest ABC members. No expense was spared to make Violetta’s vision a reality. The 2,000 square foot space on the ground floor became a newly renovated, beautiful, open facility, which upholds strict safety features including city-tied central fire and sprinkler alarm systems throughout.
Following over 2 years of preparation, in June of 2013, ABC Infant & Toddler Center, Inc. was founded as a sister-company to ABC Child Center, opening it’s doors to 41 children between the ages of 3–24 months.