After many years of study and research, our Board of Directors is leading the effort to provide additional quality, safe, and educational childcare for the Aberdeen area. No facility has ever been constructed for this purpose and with the increase of jobs in our area, childcare concerns and need has increased dramatically. This concern has become a major priority in Aberdeen.
The Aberdeen Family Y is the largest childcare facility in Aberdeen and has two primary programs that meet the early education needs of the youth we serve: Learning Tree and After the Bell. Each of these programs is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals who care deeply for the children; however, the programs are housed in outdated, ill-situated facilities. In addition, a robust economy in Aberdeen has created strong demand for employees, which in turn has and will continue to lead to increased demand for quality childcare. The need for updated facilities and increased demand for childcare lead us to the conclusion that the Aberdeen area needs a new Youth Development Center (YDC).
Once the decision was made that a new facility is needed, the Y engaged the services of a consultant who conducted interviews with management and staff of the Y as well as community leaders. The resulting report indicated that the project was viable and that the money necessary to build and furnish the facility could be raised. In response to the report, the Y board of directors formed a campaign steering committee that has assembled the infrastructure necessary to wage a campaign to raise the money to build the YDC and to expand and bring under one roof the Learning Tree and After the Bell programs. The YDC will be located west across State Street from the Y. The estimated cost to build and furnish the new facility is $4,000,000.
Youth development is a key mission of the Aberdeen Family Y. Early education-based childcare helps to meet this mission and we began providing the Aberdeen community with such programming over 30 years ago. The Y and the community it serves recognize the central role of the Y in providing quality childcare options in the Aberdeen community. As such, it is appropriate that the Y take the leadership role in developing the YDC.
The Learning Tree serves infants through kindergarten-aged children and is currently licensed to accommodate 104 children; the new facility will be licensed for 185 to 200 children. This program uses an outlined curriculum of Developmentally Appropriate Practices for all preschool activities. Studies have shown that the majority of learning skills develop before age 5. The After the Bell program serves students in first grade through sixth grade and is currently licensed for 90 students; the new facility will be licensed for 140 students. Students are bused to the current facility after school; however, cramped conditions necessitate daily outside field trips and make it difficult to complete homework in a quiet learning environment. During the summer After the Bell becomes a full-time childcare option for parents.
The Learning Tree and After the Bell programs provide environments that are safe and secure; and conducive to the development of educational skills and the motivation to learn. The YDC will employ 14 additional full time equivalent staff to serve the expanded population. We invite you to join our effort in raising the necessary funds for this expansion to serve our most treasured asset, our children.
TO VIEW PICTURES OF THE YDC CONSTRUCTION, CLICK HERE.