Southern Boone YMCA Director Kip Batye says that the growth of the local YMCA is in part due to growth in the Southern Boone Community.

But with growth, Batye notes, comes a challenge to serve the community with a variety of services.

Batye will again go before the SoBoCo Board of Education on Monday in an effort to allow the YMCA to provide after-school child care at a SoBoCo facility.

The YMCA had agreed with local day care facilities two years ago that they would only use a school facility – free of charge – for fifth through eighth grade students.

Last year the YMCA attempted to get that extended to fourth grade students – a move the school board rejected.

Now Batye will approach the school board on behalf of the YMCA Board of Directors and ask for the district’s agreement with the YMCA to be extended to kindergarten through fifth grade students at a south campus location and a sixth-through-eighth grade students at a Middle School location.

“What we heard at the last town hall meeting a few weeks ago is that there is a definite need for after-school child care,” Batye said.

Batye said that with fewer day cares in the area being certified to take state subsidized students, the need for after-school care would increase in the community.

However, Sharon Basinger, who has spoken for area day cares in meetings with the school district, says that regardless of recent changes in state subsidies, the taxpayers and school district should not subsidize the YMCA.

“They should not have free access to the school buildings or transportation on school buses if we (day cares) don’t,” Basinger said earlier this summer. “That does not put everything on a level playing field – not just the YMCA, but any other organization.”

An informal survey of area day cares showed that at least one day care will be taking state-subsidized students after school. Day care owners also emphasized that there would be as many as 35-plus openings in area day cares.

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By Bruce Wallace