Tag Archives: childcare

Expanding Childcare Options for Local Families with NC Pre-K

14 Aug

YWCA Is On A Mission to Nurture Children and Empower Women and Families

Providing childcare for our community helps working families, especially working mothers, continue their careers and increase the economic viability of their families. Research also shows that high-quality early education is also the best long-term investment to make in a child; preparing them for success in elementary school and beyond.

In support of local families and children, YWCA of Asheville is expanding their Early Learning Program beginning with two new classrooms opening this month. Going one step further to make sure some of the most vulnerable families can access early care and education, one of these classrooms is dedicated to NC Pre-K.

Preschool children

“There is an ongoing child care crisis in Buncombe County and opening two new classrooms this summer, serving 36 additional children, helps to alleviate this issue for local working families,” says Beth Maczka, CEO of YWCA of Asheville. “NC Pre-K removes a barrier to low-income working families by providing six hours of free high-quality care from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm, with additional wrap-around hours available at a reasonable cost.”

At its core, YWCA of Asheville is dedicated to empowering women, eliminating racism, nurturing children and promoting health. At the intersection of these goals is the YWCA’s Early Learning Program. Community-centered childcare aimed at supporting working women while caring for young children through a compassionate, whole-child approach.

“The first 2000 days of life are critical to a child’s lifelong development,” says Denise Purcell, Director of Early Learning at the YWCA. “Early experiences actually influence brain development. These connections provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem-solving, social skills, behavior and emotional health. A child’s earliest experiences and environment set the stage for future development and success in school and life.”

To increase the school readiness of children throughout the state, North Carolina is funding NC Pre-K classrooms to offer free, high-quality early care and education to eligible children and families. Locally administered by Buncombe Partnership for Children, NC Pre-K qualifying families’ have at or below 75% of the state median income and priority is given to 4-year-olds who are not already enrolled in care.  Other factors that contribute to a child’s eligibility, regardless of family income, included identified disabilities, chronic health conditions, or developmental or educational needs such as speaking limited or no English.

“The YWCA’s commitment to racial and social justice is reflected in our classroom composition, the diversity of staff and an overall welcoming environment for all types of families,” says Maczka. “Opening an NC Pre-K classroom at the YWCA is a perfect fit for our organization.”

To make sure childcare and early education are accessible to any parent and child in our community, the Early Learning Program accepts state childcare subsidy vouchers and serves 50% voucher families throughout their center. In 2016, YWCA also opened two Early Head Start classrooms in partnership with Verner Center for Early Learning to provide not only childcare but extended wrap-around education, resources, and services for families with the lowest incomes in our community.

YWCA of Asheville believes that every individual deserves the support necessary to get an early start on learning, to succeed through school and graduation, to continue education and provide for their family.  Through the Early Learning Program, YWCA is working to improve the lives of women, children and families, and our community as a whole.

“Learning begins long before a child enters public school,” says Purcell. “It has been proven that participants in high-quality early childhood programs have higher earnings, pay more taxes and are less likely to rely on government assistance. This means better jobs, better educations, and better lives – and in terms of dollars returned from the investment in early education – society is the winner.”

YWCA is actively enrolling students for their NC Pre-K classroom opening August 27, 2018. Applications are available at the YWCA located at 185 S. French Broad Avenue in Asheville or you can access the NC Pre-K application online through the Buncombe County Partnership for Children website.


Service Learning

6 Aug

Isn’t it great when kids can learn while having fun? Each group in the YWCA of Asheville’s K-6 Summer Camp is doing a service learning project this summer.  We thought you’d like to know some of the things they are doing.

  • Environmental learning through Quality Forward including recycling, trash pick up, going greensummer camp downtown 09 034
  • Book Drive – collecting books from libraries, bookstores etc.
  • Make your day card – sending greeting cards to persons in nursing homes and the rehabilitation centers
  • Nutritional newsletters and recipe book
  • Tour with Texas Roadhouse and lunch
  • Terpsicorp Ballet company worked with the kids on movement and then did a show for us at Diana Wortham
  • The groups are doing Drama with the Asheville Community Theatre
  • Weekly themed art projects

Inspiring Positive Change

20 Jul

Terry Van Duyn recently shared this story that Thalia Hoy, of Pisgah Legal Services, told her the other day.  

“Thalia had just started working with a client who had been the victim of domestic violence for several years. During the interview, Thalia asked what made her decide to finally do something about the problem, after tolerating the abuse for so long.  The woman told Thalia that her son was in the Drop-In Child Care program at the YWCA. Because of that, he qualified for a summer program that you offer.  At some point during the summer program, she attended some function with him, and when asked to introduce his mother, he said, ‘This is my mom, and I have to protect her.’  It was at that point that she realized the impact the abuse was having on her children, and that her son was getting to an age that he might become a likely target himself.

I love that the YWCA gave this young man an outlet where he could tell his story.  Thank you for all you do!”

Thank you for sharing this powerful story, Terry.

If you would like to support the YWCA’s Drop-In Child Care, and our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, please click here to make a donation. Thanks in advance for your support.

Summer Camp Fun

15 Jul

summer camp downtown 09 033YWCA Summer Camp is in full swing. This week all of the groups inthe K-6 Camp are taking an historic tour of downtown Asheville, led by Deb Maddox of Asheville Youth Tours. The tour mixes interesting facts about Asheville history with inpiring messages. Like many Summer Camp activities, it’s educational and fun. “This is really cool!” a camper was overheard telling her friend as they explored downtown. Here are some photos from Group 3’s tour.

Volunteer Spotlight

18 Jun

Volunteer Blair Felder at "Work"

Blair Felder has been volunteering her time at the YWCA Child Care Center since the beginning of April.  She moved back to Asheville this year and wanted to continue working in a childcare setting like she had in Greensboro.  Blair finds that she learns something new every day from the children in her group.  She says that she enjoys this volunteer work so much that she has decided to pursue her childcare credentials at A-B Tech. We are very appreciative of the work that Blair does for the YWCA. She approaches her interactions and volunteer work with openness and joy. I am sure there are some two and three year-olds who want to join us in thanking Blair!

Blair is one of the many amazing volunteers who help the YWCA serve the Asheville community.  If you are interested in joining this dedicated group of people please contact me, Heidi Sistare, YWCA Volunteer Coordinator: heidi.sistare@ywcaofasheville.org, 828-254-7206 x204.

The Playground is Ready!

27 Apr

slideThe YWCA’s new playground was finished last week. We were glad to be able to film the children in After-School playing on it for the first time. Enjoy the happy video. What a wonderful addition to our facility!

Playground Progress

1 Apr

The YWCA’s new School-Age Playground is coming right along. This exciting project is being funded by a grant from the Cannon Foundation. It will be enjoyed by children in our After-School and Summer Camp programs. Here are a couple of photos of the progress:

plaground progres







new playground