SHINGLEHOUSE — Families in the Shinglehouse area will soon have a new child care option for infants, toddlers, and preschool age children.
The Bradford YMCA has collaborated with the Oswayo Valley School District to make a fully licensed early learning center a reality.
“We realized at Oswayo Valley School District that there was a need for a child care center in our school district for the working families,” stated Oswayo Valley Superintendent, Jed Hamberger. “We don’t have any state approved childcare providers in our district, so we saw this as an opportunity to give back to our community. We were lucky enough to have the space to be able to pursue a project like this and were even awarded a grant from the Norton Trust Foundation for a community improvement project.
“This shortly became a consortium-based project with Potter County Human Services and the YMCA of the Twin Tiers becoming contributors to the project,” the superintendent continued. “We originally had other providers that we considered but they were not able to provide the type of services like the YMCA of the Twin Tiers could provide.”
Hamberger said, “This project benefits the community on multiple fronts not only providing child care but also giving our early childhood students at the Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center a local internship opportunity. This also gives us the opportunity to provide students with an education from a very early age and we are excited to see the long term impacts of starting to educate our students at such an early age.”
The program will take place on-site at the Oswayo Valley Elementary School. YMCA Early Learning Center classrooms are built with the philosophy of meeting the developmental needs of each child. The teachers and staff are committed to nurturing individual differences and the growth of the whole child physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
The center will serve children ages 6 weeks to 4 years old. The program will run Monday through Friday with care available from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wrap-around care will be available for children enrolled in the Oswayo Valley Pre-K Counts Program.
“The YMCA of the Twin Tiers takes great pride in supporting the building blocks for early learning, as well as the physical, social and emotional development of the little people in our communities,” explained Jeff Townsend, CEO of the YMCA of the Twin Tiers. “We feel strongly that all children should have the same opportunities to grow and develop to reach their full potential. To that end, this new Early Learning Center will be a beacon for families and children in the community to ensure the YMCA meets their childcare and early learning needs.”
Oswayo School Board Member, R. Kayle Perkins added, “This is a great opportunity for our community and I hope families take advantage of it. The convenience of this educational model is one my own family experienced and truly believe it set our daughter up for school success.”
“Early Learning Centers are critical to our communities,” noted Kira Schine, Associate Child Care Director at the Bradford YMCA, “whether it is due to families having to work or to offer early learning experiences for children enrolled. There will be financial assistance through the YMCA of the Twin Tiers and state subsidies for families that qualify. We are here to help families make sure that their children can be enrolled in such a great new opportunity. I look forward to helping this program grow.”
The tentative opening date for the center is Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023. Once the Early Learning Center meets all requirements and is fully licensed, enrollment for children will be opened to the community. Updates will be announced through news media and at twintiersymca.org. For more information, or to inquire about employment, contact Kira Schine, Associate Child Care Director of the Bradford YMCA. She can be reached at 814-368-1610, ext. 250 or by email at [email protected]