WENATCHEE — WestSide Early Learning Center, the daycare center at WestSide High School, will be operated by Chelan Douglas Child Services Association starting in August.
The Wenatchee School Board approved a five-year contract with CDCSA on June 11.
In April, the board approved transitioning the operation to an outside care provider as part of budget reduction measures and sought proposals from local nonprofits.
CDCSA is a nonprofit that provides Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) services in Chelan and Douglas counties. Head Start and Early Head Start are both federally funded programs for infants and preschoolers. ECEAP is the state’s pre-kindergarten program serving at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds and their families.
Under the new agreement, the school district will own and maintain the childcare facilities but will no longer operate the program housed in a portable classroom on the WestSide campus at 1510 Ninth St.
All current WELC staff who applied for a position with CDCSA were placed in available jobs, bringing the total staffing up to about a dozen employees, according to a press release issued by the school district.
The 23 children enrolled in the current WestSide program 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.
The program accepts children ages 1 month to 5 years. Daily hours of operation will be 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with year-round services planned. Currently, the WestSide daycare was open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Enrollment processing and billing will be handled by CDCSA. Participant rates and fees will continue at the current 2019 prices until the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
Seven additional ECEAP slots will be made available under the new operators.
“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 CDCSA Executive Director Christy 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 information about the WestSide Early Learning Center, call the Chelan Douglas Child Service Association at 663-5179.