The Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF), announced $17.2 million in grants to 39 current and new early learning providers across the state.
These grants included $800,000 for the YMCA of Grays Harbor and $636,000 to the Joint Pacific County Housing Authority in Raymond.
These grants provide financial support to allow Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) contractors and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy providers to plan, expand, remodel, purchase or construct early learning facilities and classrooms.
At the local YMCA, Associate Executive Director Dan Brown tells KXRO that the project will double the YMCA of Grays Harbor’s licensed capacity for childcare which serves children from Pre-K to 12 years of age through a full-day and part-day model.
Brown says that the plan is to continue services at the current YMCA of Grays Harbor facility at 2500 Simpson Ave. The funds from this project will facilitate the purchase of another building and renovation of that site, in the end giving the YMCA two sites in Hoquiam.
The total project costs are estimated at $1.5 million. In addition to this grant, an additional $200,000 will come from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation to help fund this project.
The YMCA Board of Directors approved the submittal of this grant and is in full support of acceptance. Brian Shay, current YMCA of Grays Harbor CVO, expressed his support of the grant, “On behalf of the entire board we are proud of the staff to win this competitive grant that will enable us to expand early learning in Grays Harbor which is such a critical need in our community and across the state.”
Franzine went on to express her thanks to the Department of Commerce, Grays Harbor Community Foundation, YMCA staff and board and local organizations who helped support the writing and awarding of this grant.
If you are interested in donating to help support the project and it’s completion please contact Franzine Potts at the YMCA of Grays Harbor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-537-9622 x111.
During the Commerce application cycle, the department received 125 applications requesting a total of over $34 million.
The grant recipients are:
Facilities Pre-Design Grant
Minor Renovation or Repair of Existing Early Learning Facilities Grant
Major Construction/Renovation/Building Purchase Grant
Half of Washington parents who responded to an independent survey initiated by the Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force said child care is difficult to find and keep. A quarter of respondents said the cost alone kept them from using child care. The research and the impact to Washington’s employers and economy is detailed in the report The Mounting Costs of Childcare in Washington State.
The task force has undertaken a comprehensive childcare industry assessment and a will develop set of policy recommendations for workforce compensation and Washington’s Working Connections Child Care subsidy program, along with an implementation plan for subsidy changes, due to the governor and Legislature in December this year. Information and updates on task force work are available on the task force web page.
To read more about the Early Learning Facilities grant program, visit Commerce’s webpage.