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Families are struggling to find other child care options due to rising expenses and fewer possibilities



Rochester, New York – With the news that the YMCA of Greater Rochester’s Carlson Child Care Center would permanently close at the end of August, many families are searching for another location for their kids to attend.

“It’s been really complicated taking care of him, as my son is trying to finish his dissertation and I’m trying to help out,” said Josephine Gaeffke.

As she strolls with her grandson Alex through Cobbs Hill Park, Gaeffke says she makes every effort to keep her son from having to pay for daycare.

“We are helping them out a lot because I don’t know how they would do it if we couldn’t help them out,” Gaeffke said.

Gaeffke claims that despite the need for inexpensive care, the pool of available solutions is getting smaller.

The YMCA of Greater Rochester said in a statement on Friday that it will close the MetroCenter building on East Main Street on August 30.

“Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to find long-term, committed partners to share this space for positive community impact,” the statement says in part. The YMCA has chosen to list the building as a result.

According to David Kolczynski, owner and CEO of Cares-A-Lot Child Care Centers in the Rochester area, in order to maintain child care centers, employees must receive higher wages, “We have to raise wages to keep good quality staff, and we have to pass that cost on to the parents,” Kolczynski said. He added: “Our teachers are doing the same level, in my mind, the same important work that an elementary school teacher is doing, for about half the wage.”

Assemblywoman Sarah Clark expressed her pride at having managed to include $13 million for differential pay for child care providers who work non-traditional hours in the state budget.

“We are far from fixing this, and every child care provider deserves to make more money than they would at a fast food restaurant. They are the keeper of our babies,” Clark said.

However, Kolczynski claims that the extra financing won’t benefit his daytime employees, which will increase the cost of hiring and retaining staff, which would eventually be borne by parents.

“At the end of the day the families — I mean we don’t lose, we feel bad about doing that, but the families are the ones that lose in this situation,” Kolczynski said.

In order to help families locate care for those who still require it, the YMCA said it will be collaborating with Child Care Council and working directly with families. The services will run till August 30.