When will you open?

We plan to open by April 1, 2024. 

Why not sooner?

Construction is coming along nicely and is expected to take a couple months. As soon as the rooms are ready for us to occupy, we have furniture to assemble and classrooms to set up. Finally, once the center is set up and ready to receive children, the licensing process can start. That process takes 90 days. 

Where will it be located?

The new center is in a wing on the Columbia County Health System campus previously occupied by Booker Rest Home residents. The residents have been moved to cottages. 

How many kids can you serve?  What ages?

The program will open with space for 40 children: 8 infants, 13 toddlers, and 19 preschoolers. We can add 4 to 10 additional spaces, depending on community needs.

What are the hours?

We plan to start with a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule, Monday through Friday.

Is this only for the children of hospital staff?

This center is for anyone in the community, and spaces will be offered according to the waiting list we opened in mid-November. The waiting list is first come, first served, time stamped and dated.

When can I sign up?  I want to make sure my child is able to attend.

The official waiting list, which will give you the opportunity to submit enrollment paperwork, opened Nov. 15. If you would like occasional email updates, send a note to mfh@ywcaww.org. Also watch the YWCA Facebook page and the YWCA website.

Childcare is really expensive.  How much will this cost?  I’m not sure I can afford it.

Yes, childcare is really expensive to pay for and to provide.  There is great help for working families in Washington called the Working Connections Child Care program. Roughly two-thirds of the families in our Walla Walla program participate in Working Connections. You May Qualify. Families qualify for childcare assistance based on family size and household income.  If your household income is at or below 60% of statewide median income, you may qualify for assistance where the state pays a large part and qualifying families pay anywhere from 0 to $165 per month.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to Tabitha at 509-525-7034.  She can quickly and easily get you in contact with the Working Connections program for more information.

What does a typical day look like in this childcare program?

Link to sample schedules coming soon.

Are meals provided?

Yes.  We’ll provide breakfast, lunch, a morning snack and an afternoon snack.  Meals will follow USDA nutrition guidelines, and the hospital ‘s dietary department will do the cooking. 

I’m a nursing mom.  Can I come nurse my child at the center?

Yes, we will have a cozy space ready for you.

Do you use a specific curriculum in the program?

Yes, we are excited to be using Creative Curriculum and its assessment module, Teaching Strategies Gold.  It is an incredible tool.  Our teachers can choose from a variety of subjects, develop a daily work plan, and the assessment module allows us to deliver specialized learning where kids may need a little help. (Link to a sample coming soon.)

Who will be taking care of my child?  What are their qualifications? 

Lifelong Dayton resident Tabitha Elkins Haney is the YWCA childcare program director.  She is a WSU grad and worked as a certified substitute elementary school teacher till she went back to her first love, early learning.  Tabitha has worked with children ages 1 to 6 for 20 years.  Tabitha has been a childcare director for 10 years.  She will be at the Dayton center two to three hours per day. 

Lifelong Columbia County resident Madison Mings will be the site coordinator in Dayton.  Madison has worked in childcare since 2021 and is finishing her AA degree in Early Childhood Education.  We will hire lead teachers for the Infant, Toddler, and Preschool rooms and lots of teachers’ aides to help.  All staff must have a high school degree or equivalency.