North Port YMCA child care center closing

North Port YMCA child care center closing

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Dozens of working parents are now scrambling to figure out what to do about child care after the Sky family YMCA announced it will be closing its facility in North Port.

The doors will officially be closed on September 30th, impacting close to 50 families. Many of those parents telling me that they can’t afford any other daycare in the city.

“I got like a pit feeling in my stomach," Hillary Turkovich, a parent of North Port said. "It broke my heart to hear that. My daughter has been here for so long, and so many kids are going to miss out on such a great place.”

It seems like this has been in the works for a while now. The building itself is owned by the City of North Port, and was originally a fitness center with child care, but it became a full-time child care center in recent years.

“We’ve been working with the city for the last two years to find a happy medium where we can work together to make this building more of a child care-friendly facility, but it just doesn’t seem like we’re able to do that in the near future," Erin Chokr, Sky Family YMCA Director of Marketing said.

The Y says the structure is technically safe, but is not equipped for kids. They were hoping North Port would help fund the changes.

“I understand that there’s some problem with the facility, and the problem of who’s going to pay, whether it’s the YMCA or if the town pays for it, but the ones who are going to end up paying for this is the kids," James Rittenhouse, a parent of North Port said. "They’re the losers here now.”

More than 70 percent of the kids here are on full scholarship, so the YMCA funds their cost and the center, plus two free meals a day per child, spending close to $100,000 a year.

“We are searching for another facility," Chokr said. "This is not the environment that allows them to grow and thrive like we want them to. Especially here in North Port, there are a ton of families who need our help, and we do our best to work with them and make their lives better.”

The issue is scheduled to be discussed though at the July 9th City Commission meeting.

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