Child care is one of the foremost issues facing women and families in the workplace. Since 1997, there has been an increase in the use of organized day care centers and father-provided care for preschoolers.
In Forest City and surrounding communities, there are actual waiting lists at both the Forest City YMCA and the Hanson Family Life Center. Addressing this concern has been foremost on the minds of the respective boards of directors. As a result, both non-profit organizations have merged into one entity. The program will be under the YMCA and according to YMCA Director Bruce Mielke, the drive to become more efficient has begun.
Prior to merger, 50 staffers handled 100 children at the Hanson Family Life Center. Now with the merger, the YMCA is looking to try and create space to accommodate even more children, in particular infants. To do so, means to reorganize classrooms and general space according to Mielke.
The YMCA is involved in non-school hour and summer activities with children along with summer daycare. With the growth in the number of students and daycare participants, the YMCA will now have a number of employment opportunities opening soon. The increase will be slow, but the need will be there. Mielke offered some ways for people to learn about the job openings.
The YMCA is also recognizing the growing need for infant care and is encouraging everyone with that need to contact the YMCA to get set up, at the very least, on a waiting list, that when the staffing and expansion occur, the opportunity to have the child cared for by the largest daycare provider in the United States, could happen.