For many parents the search for early childhood education opportunities can be difficult due to obstacles such as limited space. To that end, Buncombe County is committed to helping remove barriers by creating more room in the early childhood education landscape. Now, thanks in part to nearly $200,000 from Buncombe County, the YWCA in downtown Asheville has more than doubled its early childhood education space. That money, awarded in June, helped expand four classrooms to create 42 new early childhood education slots, bringing the total number of available spaces to 72. “Buncombe County is so proud to be a partner in this initiative and working with partners all across the County to expand access to early childhood education,” exclaimed Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.
The funding also goes beyond increasing access to early childhood education, one of the Board of Commissioner’s six strategic priorities. The grant also allows the facility to renovate the kitchen, add age-appropriate furnishings, develop new curriculum, and more. “The YWCA has been helping families and kids with great pre-k services for a long time, and we’re happy to partner with them to help expand these facilities to help more families have pre-k for their kids. It’s a great day,” noted Commission Chair Brownie Newman.
YWCA of Asheville’s Chief Program Officer, Sala Menaya-Merritt echoes the need for expanding early childhood education offerings: “Women, particularly women of color, tend to be the primary caregivers, and often breadwinners, for families with children. When women have access to high-quality child care, our economic opportunities expand.”
For more information about the YWCA’s Early Learning Program click here or contact Denise Purcell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-254-7206, extension 106.