August 18, 2023
Montclair, NJ — On Thursday, August 17, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) toured the YMCA of Montclair’s Early Learning Center to discuss critical childcare and community services provided to families in the greater Montclair area.
Congresswoman Sherrill met with President and CEO Buddy Evans, Board Member Bob Davison, Executive Director Justine Perillo, and Early Learning Center parents and reviewed how funding received from the NJ Stabilization Fund (CARES ACT) made a difference when families needed care most. These funds helped support staff salaries and training, new supplies and equipment, and enrichment programming for the children ages 3 months to 4 years old in the Early Learning Center program and approximately 1,500 children who rely on the YMCA of Montclair’s before and after school childcare. Also discussed was Congresswoman Sherrill’s childcare bill, the Child Care for Every Community Act, which would ensure access to high-quality, affordable childcare and early learning opportunities by establishing a network of federally-supported, locally-administered childcare options.
The YMCA of Montclair opened its Early Learning Center initially to the children of first responders in March 2020 and then offered a modified on-site camp experience in the summer of 2020. By the fall, when it was clear that schools were not opening, the Y provided a Learning Enrichment Center where families could drop their children to learn virtually in a supportive environment while parents worked. The Y is committed to providing parents quality childcare coverage year-round with 20+ days of “staycation” for school holidays, serves over 1,500 summer campers, after school enrichment and swim lessons, and memberships for teens to work out at the Y.
Access to affordable childcare is critical for working families, especially for women in the workforce. Waitlists for daycare, aftercare, and camp spots are now common and the cost is prohibitive for many families. Supporting places like the YMCA of Montclair and identifying funds to supplement the cost of childcare allows families to access safe, high-quality programs for their children to help them grow and thrive.
ABOUT THE YMCA OF MONTCLAIR
Established in 1891, the YMCA of Montclair welcomes all. We are a nonprofit that strengthens individuals, families, and community by developing spirit, mind, and body. Working locally, we focus on empowering young people, improving health and well-being, and inspiring action in and across communities. Serving Bloomfield, Bloomingdale, Clifton, Cedar Grove, Glen Ridge, Haskell, Hewitt, Montclair, Verona, Wanaque, and West Milford. For more information, please visit montclairymca.org.