Expanding Quality Childcare in Schenectady

Early Learning Expansion Project

Addressing the critical need for affordable, high-quality childcare in Schenectady County to support families and foster community growth.

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Legacy & Commitment

Since 1976, YWCA NorthEastern NY has been a cornerstone in providing early childhood care for children ages six weeks to five years. The program has been OCFS-licensed (Office of Children and Family Services) since 1985 and accredited since 2004. Operating from two locations, our programs are distinguished by our highly-qualified staff who are First Aid and CPR-certified and active participants in the Pyramid education model. 

Our Early Learning Centers are the only two NAEYC-accredited childcare programs in Schenectady, consistently receiving the highest quality ratings from QUALITYstarsNY. We are dedicated to offering exceptional childcare services that support the developmental needs of young children and the economic needs of their families.

Addressing Childcare Shortages

The Early Learning Expansion Project is a response to the severe shortage of affordable, high-quality childcare in Schenectady County. With only 10 existing slots for every 100 babies, infants, and toddlers, the demand far exceeds the supply, leaving many families without essential childcare services.

This project aims to alleviate the burden on low-income families, who are disproportionately affected by the childcare crisis. By relocating and expanding our early learning center, we will create 60 new childcare slots, significantly increasing our capacity and providing critical support to families in need. This initiative is crucial for enhancing social and economic mobility in our community.

Community Impact

The Early Learning Expansion Project is set to make a profound impact on the Schenectady community by addressing the critical need for accessible, high-quality childcare. This initiative aligns with the Capital Region Economic Development Council’s 2024-2028 Strategic Plan, particularly Strategy #1: People. By providing affordable childcare, the project supports workforce development and helps attract and retain workers in key industry clusters such as tech and electronics, biotech and life sciences, software and digital gaming, and cleantech/offshore wind. Enhanced childcare infrastructure is essential for regional economic growth, as it removes barriers to employment and supports the local labor force. The project will benefit historically underserved communities, promoting social and economic mobility and contributing to the overall well-being of the region.

The project’s focus on sustainability through capital improvements to the new facility ensures long-term benefits for the community. Energy-efficient upgrades will not only reduce operational costs but also support environmental goals. By addressing both immediate childcare needs and long-term sustainability, the Early Learning Expansion Project is a comprehensive solution that will have lasting positive effects on Schenectady’s economic and social landscape.

Harbor House Development and Job Retention

The Early Learning Expansion Project is a pivotal initiative for YWCA NorthEastern NY, particularly in relation to the Harbor House development project. By relocating the Washington Avenue Early Learning Center to the new facility at 80 West Campbell Road, we can proceed with the construction of a new 54-unit affordable housing building and the renovation of our historic main building. This relocation is crucial to avoid delays or interruptions in our childcare services, ensuring continuity for the families we serve.

The new facility will support the retention of 17 existing childcare jobs and create additional employment opportunities. The modern amenities and expanded capacity will enhance our ability to attract and retain qualified childcare staff, ensuring that we can continue to provide high-quality care. The project not only safeguards our current workforce but also positions us for future growth and success. By integrating childcare services with affordable housing, we are creating a holistic approach to community support that addresses multiple needs simultaneously.

Harbor House Project

Join Us in Expanding Early Learning Opportunities

We are relying on the support of local foundations and the community to secure full funding for the project, totaling $2,300,000 of local support needed. Every dollar toward this initiative helps to make this project whole.

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