Our History

The BCCA was established in December 1998 to create a child care center at Belmont Park, which hosts the largest population of backstretch workers of the New York Racing Association’s, Inc. three racetracks. The purpose of the BCCA was to build a child care center, select an independent, licensed child care provider to operate the center, and undertake fundraising efforts to ensure the continued operation of the center. The BCCA provides backstretch families with access to high quality, state-of-the-art child care that enhances the emotional, social, and educational development of their children.

In 2002, Michael Dubb, BCCA Board Chairman, built Anna House and donated it to the BCCA to serve the families of the backstretch. The center was named Anna House in appreciation of Eugene Melnyk, a major donor, whose daughter, Anna, was then two years old. In January 2010, Michael Dubb generously offered to add two extensions to Anna House to meet the needs of our families. The playground area is named the Lemon Drop Kid Playground in honor of donors Jeanne Vance and Laddie Dance’s 1999 Belmont Stakes winner.

Anna House opened its doors on January 1, 2003. Located at Gate 6 at Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York, it is accessible to the backstretch employees at both Belmont and Aqueduct racetracks. The majority of the backstretch employees are immigrants, struggling to make a living and supporting their families. Anna House was created to care for children from the age of six weeks to six years old, providing a safe and nurturing environment for learning. Backstretch families require affordable child care that is available before dawn, and before the creation of Anna House, their options were few.

In December 2006, Gretchen and Roy Jackson created the Lael Scholarship Fund to ensure that Anna House would always have sufficient funds to continue to provide early childhood education to the children. The Jacksons make a generous annual contribution to the fund.

Anna House is open from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year, to accommodate the racetrack employees and their work schedule. 

© Belmont Child Care Association
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