SIDNEY – Community leaders recently gathered for a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the opening of the new YMCA Child Development Center at Fair Haven, which was officially slated to open its doors on Monday, Nov. 28.
Jeff Raible, President of the Sidney Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone and spoke about the child care shortage which exists in Shelby County, like many other communities, and the expanded child care options which will now be available at this satellite center.
“If we are going to make progress in our efforts to get more people into the work place, we certainly need to be able to provide resources like this fine one so that they know their children will be safe, well taken care of, and get a jump start on their education too, while under the umbrella of the Y Child Development Center,” said Raible.
Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann also spoke about the desire of county leadership to support quality accessible child care in the Shelby County community and their decision to allocate American Recovery Act dollars to support this project.
“Six months ago, Scott Barr, president of the Shelby County United Way, along with David O’Leary, CEO of the YMCA, contacted me to discuss the child care waiting list at the YMCA and brainstorm possible solutions,” said Ehemann.
“I and the other Commissioners thought of a recent conversation we had with Fair Haven Director Curtis O’Neal, and … we immediately thought of this space and the ball started rolling the next day. The YMCA has done amazing work jumping through all the necessary hoops and I want to commend the many community partners that assisted in getting this space ready.”
In 1984 the Sidney Shelby County YMCA began serving the Sidney Shelby County community by providing high quality child care, partnering with the Shelby County United Way to help provide financial assistance for those in need, and has continued to grow and expand the Y Child Development program which is now licensed for 214 children at the main Y campus, with additional space for 58 children at the Fair Haven site.
“There are so many people to thank. I want to highlight the parents and families that entrust the Y Staff with their children,” said O’Leary. “I want to thank all the community leaders who supported this expansion wholeheartedly. In a special way, I would like to thank Tori Faulder, our Y Child Development Director. She’s a great leader who truly has a heart for children and she has worked unbelievably hard to make this day possible. I also want to thank our Building and Property Manager Ray Zachrich and Fair Haven’s Property Manager Herman Hamblin, who have spent countless hours transforming this space into the beautiful child care center that it is today.”
O’Neal discussed the continuing partnership with the YMCA and some of the opportunities that they hope to be able to offer, such as inter-generational activities with residents and the children.
Parents interested in learning more about the Y Child Development Center at the Y or at Fair Haven should call 937-498-2273 or email Faulder at [email protected]