The Wenatchee School District has entered into an agreement with the Chelan Douglas Child Services Association (CDCSA) to take over operations of the WestSide Early Learning Center (WELC). Services at the center under CDCSA will begin in August at the current location on the WestSide High School property at 1510 Ninth Street, Wenatchee.
In April, the Wenatchee School Board approved transitioning childcare services at the WELC to an outside care provider as part of budget reduction measures. CDCSA was selected through a request for proposals process. Under this new agreement, the Wenatchee School District will own and maintain the childcare facilities but will no longer operate the childcare program.
The WELC offers nationally accredited, high quality licensed child care to children one month to five years of age. Children currently enrolled in the WELC will have the ability to continue in the CDCSA program. Priority enrollment for new students will be given first to children of Wenatchee School District students, then children of Wenatchee Valley College students and then the community at large.
"I have had the honor and privilege of being able to collaborate with such a quality program and support a caring and compassionate staff who delivers quality childcare and hold themselves to high standards each day," said WestSide High School principal Kory Kalahar. "I know that with CDCSA, we will continue in this tradition to provide outstanding childcare and work diligently to help our young adults continue their education knowing their children are in good hands. We welcome this new partnership."
Daily hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. with year-round services planned.
CDCDA will handle all enrollment processing and billing. Participant rates and fees will continue at the current 2019 prices until the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year and thereafter.
Seven additional Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) slots will be made available under CDCSA. ECEAP is Washington's pre-kindergarten program serving at-risk three and four-year-olds and their families.
"We have a few improvements to make such as adding some playground equipment, a shade structure, and ramp along with transferring our license to the new site before we'll be ready to open our doors, said Christy Walt, CDCSA's Executive Director.
All current WELC staff that applied for a position with CDCSA were placed in available jobs bringing the total staffing up to about a dozen employees. "We're excited about this partnership and to help the children and families through WestSide," said Walt. "This new satellite brings our locations up to six, giving CDCSA the ability to help more event more kids in North Central Washington develop the skills needed to become ready for kindergarten."
For more information about the WestSide Early Learning Center contact the Chelan Douglas Child Service Association at (509) 663-5179.