Press release from YWCA Asheville:
With the help of funding from Buncombe County Commissioners and the Community Foundation of WNC, YWCA Asheville’s Early Learning Program renovated and expanded four classrooms this summer, giving them the capacity to serve an additional 42 children. They also have completed a much-needed kitchen renovation, allowing them to better serve healthy meals to the children. The next phase of the expansion is now underway: renovating the playground to incorporate more natural elements, and commissioning a mural honoring Thelma Caldwell, Executive Director of YWCA of Asheville from 1965-1975.
To celebrate this expansion, YWCA Asheville’s Early Learning Program is hosting an open house on December 1, 2018, from 1-3pm. The community is invited to enjoy speakers, music, refreshments, and children’s activities, and prizes will be distributed to the first 50 children to arrive. Families will have the opportunity to meet some of ELP’s teachers and learn more about the NC Pre-K program.
As the number of licensed child care centers in Buncombe County continues to dwindle, many parents are left struggling to find qualified caregivers for their pre-school-age children so that they can go to work. This gap puts a particular strain on women, says YWCA of Asheville’s Chief Program Officer, Sala Menaya-Merritt. “Women, particularly women of color, tend to be the primary caregivers, and often breadwinners, for families with children. When women have access to high quality child care, our economic opportunities expand. We understand that providing high quality, accessible child care is a part of how we fulfill our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.”