April 11, 2018

Eastern Michigan University students to benefit from new Ann Arbor YMCA childcare center located near campus

EMU, Ypsilanti Housing Commission and Ypsilanti Community Schools collaborate with ‘Y’ on vital facility, located at former Chappelle school site

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University students will enjoy fully licensed and cost-friendly childcare at a new facility opening this summer at the former Chappelle Community School in Ypsilanti.

The Ann Arbor YMCA, in collaboration with EMU, the Ypsilanti Housing Commission and Ypsilanti Community Schools will open The Collaborative: Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center at 111 S. Wallace Blvd. in Ypsilanti. 

The facility addresses a crucial community need; it will be the third NAEYC-licensed child care facility for Ypsilanti, while neighboring Ann Arbor has 22 such facilities.

A grand opening party will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, June 11. Guests will be able to meet the center's staff and tour the facility.

The child care center is intended to primarily serve EMU students, housing commission residents and Ypsilanti Community School families. The cost will be based on a sliding scale and determined by a family’s income. The center will serve children 18 months to five years during its child care hours of 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

Beginning in fall of 2018, an evening hours option will be added to accommodate evening classes. This program will require a separate registration and will be open to children age 2 to 12. 

“Given our collaboration with the YMCA in summer camps and programming, along with their expertise in early childhood care, partnering with them in this endeavor was a natural fit,” said Jessica “Decky” Alexander, director of Academic Engagement Programs for Engage@EMU and a professor of applied drama.

 “Additionally, we wanted to streamline our early childhood support and programing for our Family Empowerment Program, which is housed at all Ypsilanti Housing Commission communities.

“This will enable us to better track our students’ growth and engagement in early childhood education.”

Alexander noted that the University authored a survey last year that helped to clarify needs and approaches to early childcare for its students.

For example, parents enrolled in college often cite lack of childcare as a barrier to attending class. Seventy-six percent of EMU students surveyed about the project indicated that they would benefit from a new affordable child care option.

According to the Washtenaw County Opportunity Index, only about 30 percent of children under age five within the census tract of the program site are enrolled in preschool.

“Having child care with financial assistance available will ensure that those who need it have access to it,” Alexander said.

Students interested in enrolling and/or learning more can find out more information on the EMU Collaborative website.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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