Monmouth Day Care Center: Affordable services for needy families


In 1969, the Red Bank area was missing a vital service: child care. There were single mothers who had no support system and no affordable child care available while they went to work. There were teenage mothers who were unable to complete their education due to lack of affordable child care. And there were families struggling to stay over the poverty line and make ends meet. It was during this time that a group of people started looking into opening an affordable, quality child care center for these families specifically. It would be affordable, educational to the parents and pay no attention to ethnicity, socio-economic status or religion: All would be welcome.

They then approached several community organizations to secure their sponsorship of this center. The Revitalization Corps, the National Council of Jewish Women-Greater Red Bank Section, the Junior League of Monmouth County, the Council of Churches and the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club of Central New Jersey all agreed to sponsor the idea.

We ran our first class out of the basement in the United Methodist Church of Red Bank. We then began to grow and used space in the Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church. Within six years, we outgrew our spaces in the two churches and made a major purchase on 9 W. Bergen Place, now 9 Drs. James Parker Blvd., our current location.


Monmouth Day Care Center serves families seeking quality child care, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity or economic status. The center also extends appropriate guidance to these families.


Providing a quality early childhood program to everyone, regardless of their economic status, continues to be our main goal.


Monmouth Day Care Center offers full- and part-time enrollment for infants, toddlers and preschoolers (children 2 months – 5 years) in its specially designed facility. Features include a summer program, meals at no additional cost, daily outdoor play, a food pantry, sliding tuition scale and government subsidy programs, and more.


In 1987, Monmouth Day Care Center became the first child care center in Monmouth County and the eighth in New Jersey to receive accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center continues to maintain this accreditation. In 2009, Monmouth Day Care Center entered into a partnership with the Red Bank Board of Education. In 2018, the center received a star rating from the GROW NJ Kids Program, the fourth center in Monmouth County to receive this distinction.


Special events, a direct mail that we call Honor Roll, plus grants and more.


Two River Community Bank donated $25,000 for our 50th anniversary, with a match challenge to raise another $25,000.


MDCC supports the entire family. The Visiting Nurse Association’s WIC program holds its weekly clinic at MDCC every Wednesday. If a family runs out of money for dinner, it can stop in at our food pantry and “shop.” Coat drives in the winter and clothing drives year-round, hosted by Rotary Groups, are happening. Free dental visits for those children with no dental insurance take place during our regular school day. Annual, free eye screenings are hosted by the Middletown Lions Club and are available for any children in need.

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Heidi Zaentz, executive director, at: or 732-741-4313; or Amy Thomas, development coordinator, at: or 732-741-4313.

In brief

  • Location: 9 Drs. James Parker Blvd., Red Bank
  • Key members: Heidi Zaentz, executive director; Nancy Trimble, operations director; Amy Thomas, development coordinator; Elizabeth Traynor, early childhood education coordinator; Lanae Herman, board president.