WILKES-BARRE, PA — After months of planning and construction, the opening of the new CYC Annex Child Care Center will help to meet the growing needs of child care in the Wyoming Valley.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility located on South Washington Street was held on Wednesday, December 4, at 1:00 p.m.
The new facility includes two infant rooms, a pre-school classroom, kitchen area and laundry room.
“We are elated to be able to convert this vacant space into something valuable for our community,” Mark Soprano, Executive Director of the Catholic Youth Center, said. “We are excited to be able to provide more families in Luzerne County with quality child care!”
Within the last year, the Catholic Youth Center has seen a tremendous increase in need for its child care services. During the months of December 2018 through February 2019, the center went from an average enrollment of 227 children per day to more than 300 per day.
The new CYC Annex Child Care Center will provide additional space to increase enrollment by 45 children and will also create six new full-time positions at the agency.
“Since opening our doors in 1948, the CYC has been a backbone of our community. This year marks the 20th year that the CYC has provided child care 24 hours a day. Over the years, our facility has become much more than just a place of recreational opportunities as we have also focused on educational programs and social development,” Soprano said.
Funding for the project was made possible by a grant provided by the Moses Taylor Foundation. Work on the Annex began this summer. In addition to the grant money, more than 300 hours of volunteer time has helped prepare the facility for its grand opening.
“So many people hear about the CYC and see the front of our building but once they come inside, they really are in awe of what is taking place on a daily basis. We invite and welcome members of our community to come and see the new CYC Annex Child Care Center and learn more about our activities and programs,” Soprano added.
The annex location that has been renovated has a long history in the community. The space, which had been vacant since August 2018, was most recently occupied by Coordinated Child Care which offered subsidized care for working families.
The annex was also previously home to the Catholic Guild Studios and Catholic Social Services office until the early 1990’s at which time the Guild closed at Catholic Social Services moved to Northampton Street. Luzerne County also previously rented the space for its Single Point of Contact (SPOC) program which provided job training/placement for young parents. While the parent was attending training, submitting applications or attending job interviews, their children were cared for by CYC staff on site.
Even with the opening of the new facility, the planning is not compete. An outdoor courtyard with picnic tables, play space and greenery is expected to be added in the spring.