Addressing the childcare shortage: North Country organizations launch full-day learning center

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A community collaboration is helping to bridge the need for childcare for those following hybrid school models within the North Country.

The Watertown Family YMCA, Jeff-Lewis Childcare Project, Jefferson Community College, SUNY Potsdam, Retired Educators of New York and local school district leaders have launched a local option for households.

The partnership has officially launched full-day learning centers at both Jefferson Community College and Carthage Elementary School. Full-day learning center care is available for both two or three-day schedules.

“The YMCA is here to serve the community wherever we are needed. It takes extraordinary
solutions to overcome extraordinary challenges. We are grateful for the many partners and
supporters who have made this possible.” said Watertown Family CEO Denise Young. “Parents have had significant stress trying to figure out how to secure childcare around the
schools hybrid models.”

While attending the childcare programs, students will be required to connect to their schools virtually and complete school work. The YMCA’s partnership with SUNY Potsdam and the Retired Teachers Association will provide educators or teaching students for the program.

According to the Watertown Family YMCA, JCC has designated seven classrooms on campus for the full-day program. The classrooms are all located in one wing of the Dulles Building and has a seperate entrance for all staff and students.

“Partnerships and collaborations are helping the North Country pull through this crisis and come out stronger. It was natural for Jefferson to partner with the YMCA and provide space and access to technology so children can spend time learning virtually while enrolled in the program.” stated JCC President Dr. Ty Stone. “We applaud the YMCA for their determination and success in providing a solution for working parents of school age children.”

Childcare is also available through the YMCA at Carthage Elementary. According to the YMCA, all parents with children n the Carthage Central School District and CCSD staff are eligible to place children in the programs.

Additionally, the YMCA will offer before and after school care at Watertown City, General Brown, Carthage and South Jefferson School Districts. However, this is only available on days children attend school.

The YMCA stated that funding for the full-day learning care center was awarded through the Northern New York Community Foundation, United Way of Northern New York and Jane Deline Foundation.

Space is limited in all programs and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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