YMCA unveils plans for new childcare center in Beaverton
Latrice Mosley remembers the look of longing in her 14-year-old son's face when he told her he wanted to join the Beaverton Hoop YMCA basketball team.
But she was torn. How, as a single mother, was she going to pay for the membership fee?
Still, she knew she had to make something happen.
"That's when I found out that the Hoop offers financial assistance," she said. "The pieces of the puzzle began to all come together, and when I let him know that he could play, the joy in his face was all I needed."
YMCA officials say that they want to continue to help working families like Mosley's — not just financially, but through other practical ways like childcare and education.
On Thursday, Sept. 16, YMCA staff, Oregon leaders and other community stakeholders unveiled plans to renovate a former Beaverton Police Department evidence garage into the Hoop's new youth development center.
The 14,000-square-foot facility will be located just behind the Beaverton Hoop. It will serve as not only a daycare facility for local families, but also as an education center that marries STEM and sports science curricula, said Kelson Bartley, executive director for the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette.
The daycare and education programs will serve school-age children from pre-K to third grade.
Bartley said the plan for another childcare center has been in the woks for years, but kept getting kicked down the road.
It took the COVID-19 pandemic to shed light on what was already a huge need in Beaverton: affordable childcare.
The YMCA got support from state lawmakers like Rep. Sheri Schouten to kick things into gear.
Schouten, who represents most of Beaverton in the Oregon House, told a crowd of spectators at the groundbreaking ceremony that she and her colleagues banded together to secure American Rescue Plan Act funds for the project.
"If you really want to build a better community. You need to start with families," she said. "And families cannot meet their potential if someone — and it's usually the woman — doesn't work because she has to stay home because she can't find childcare she can afford."
Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty said she's had personal experience trying to find affordable childcare as a working mother.
"Groups like the YMCA are more important than ever as we look towards what we're going to look like in recovery of COVID," she said. "And I don't want to say the new normal, because the old way wasn't working. Moms paid a huge price in the workplace and the pandemic just exacerbated it."
Bartley said he hopes to have the facility open for families by summer 2022.
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