Visalia YMCA Afterschool Program Budget Cuts

September 23, 2009 10:55:03 PM PDT
State budget cuts have left hundreds of South Valley parents without childcare.These Visalia kindergartners spend most of their afternoons at the Visalia YMCA's after school site at Willow Glen Elementary School.

Between drawing, playing, reading and doing homework, many of the kids don't have time to think about how their afterschool care is being paid for.

But since the beginning of the school year, roughly 350 students have had to find care elsewhere, after the state sliced half a million dollars in funding to the "Latchkey" program, which funds after school care to the YMCA.

Parents who were previously getting afterschool child care through the YMCA's Latchkey program for free were then told they'd have to fork out about $160 a week for child care.

Tamara's five-year old, Trevor, is cared for at Willow Glen. Fortunately, she realized her childcare could be covered through another state-funded program, but other parents and children weren't so lucky.

The Annie R Mitchell School is one of six YMCA after school sites that had to shut down because of budget cuts. The YMCA also had to lay off 10 people.

Now that enrollment has suddenly shrunk by 350 children, the YMCA is trying to get new students in the program.

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