Joining Forces for Greater Impact

Childcare

YMCA OF AUSTIN, EXTEND-A-CARE FOR KIDS COME TOGETHER TO PROVIDE UNSURPASSED CHILD CARE FOR AUSTIN-AREA FAMILIES

The Boards of Directors of Extend-A-Care for Kids (EAC) and the YMCA of Austin have voted to create a strategic alliance that will combine the licensed pre-school, afterschool and camp operations of both organizations to create the new Extend-A-Care YMCA branch.

After working side by side to provide child care to Austin-area families for more than 30 years, YMCA and EAC leadership teams became aware of the enhanced programming and operational benefits that could be realized through a strategic alliance. Simply put, by coming together, these Mission-driven nonprofit organizations will create an unparalleled range of benefits for the entire community.

 “The landscape for child care and out-of-school time (OST) programming is changing in our community,” said Joan Altobelli, PhD, newly named YMCA Vice President of Licensed Child Care Services, “and our organizations need to evolve in order to deliver more comprehensive services and better address the spectrum needs for Austin-area families.”

Through terms of the agreement, Extend-A-Care’s assets and liabilities will transfer to the YMCA of Austin. Specific guidelines have been put in place in the agreement between organizations to protect and use EAC long-term investments for specific child care-based needs approved by original EAC Board members.

The new Extend-A-Care YMCA will:

  • Increase the number of children served and the number of families eligible for financial assistance;
  • Enhance the quality of child care and provide  broader and more enriching programming;
  • Provide more robust training and better career opportunities for employees;
  • Advocate more effectively for children and families at local, state and federal level;
  • Preserve the provision of affordable, high quality afterschool and daycare programs for the future of our community.

“We hope to create a national model that others around the country can emulate,” said James Finck, YMCA of Austin President and CEO. “We are better together and, more importantly, the kids and families we serve are better off because of our partnership.”

The Extend-A-Care YMCA branch will offer licensed afterschool child care for more than 5,000 students at more than 100 schools in 10 area districts and charter schools, day camps for more than 3,500 kids at more than 30 area locations, plus preschool and infant care. In 2018, the Y and EAC collectively provided more than $3 million in financial assistance to families.

“The YMCA of Austin and Extend-A-Care are both strong, well-respected and fiscally responsible organizations with healthy operational budgets and deep historical roots,” Altobelli said. “This alliance represents an opportunity to broaden and deepen our collective impact on the community.”

Through this alliance, children and families will benefit by having access to:

  • A high-quality curriculum, low ratios, healthy snack, homework assistance, organized activities, and regulatory compliance
  • A broad range of YMCA programs such as swim lessons, youth sports, enrichment and family programs
  • Opportunities for discounts on childcare and programs through Y membership

The merger is anticipated to be finalized in January of 2020. Given the size and scope of the combined operations, integrating programs and administration will take place in a phased approach over the next 12 months. With Altobelli assuming new and broader responsibilities, former EAC Operations Director Jaime Garcia will take over as Executive Director of the Extend-A-Care YMCA branch.

“Our volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition and positive outcomes for all stakeholders,” Garcia said. “Their vision, dedication and energy never cease to amaze me.”

All finance, IT, human resources, facilities, information systems, marketing & communications and development will merge and operate under the YMCA umbrella, resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness. The full organizational chart is currently being determined, and while some job titles or duties may change within departments, no employees will be laid off, and all salaries and benefits will be maintained.

Extend-A-Care has nearly 350 employees, a 2019 budget of $9 million, owns an administrative office building located at 55 N. IH-35 and multiple vehicles. The YMCA of Austin has more than 1,500 employees, a 2019 budget of $30 million, and serves 100,000 members and 30,000 program participants annually in Travis, Hays and Bastrop Counties through nine branches. The Program Services YMCA, which has overseen Y child care, will be integrated into the Extend-A-Care YMCA.

The combined organization creates a more stable environment for families needing child care. OST programs like afterschool child care and summer day camp result in many benefits to the community and child.

According to recent studies by the Harvard Family Research Project and The Rand Corporation, OST programs help:

  • Close the achievement gap by providing learning opportunity for more children;
  • Increase academic performance, attendance, and improve behavior;
  • Foster positive relationships between program participants and staff;
  • Build positive relationships among program participants;
  • Offer a blend of academic and developmental skill-building activities;
  • Promote high levels of student engagement;
  • Provide appropriate levels of structure as well as opportunities for autonomy and choice, better decision-making skills, and improved work habits.

Furthermore, children in OST programs have higher graduation rates, lower crime rates in the community and reduced crime and welfare cost.

 

About Extend-A-Care for Kids

Extend-A-Care for Kids was founded in 1969 by Margaret Gregg and Marian Robertson, two volunteers elected by their church to provide support to disadvantaged citizens. Startup funding for EAC was provided by the Urban Council. Volunteers joined forces as board members, fundraisers, and unpaid staff to assist in Extend-A-Care’s development. Demand for geographic expansion became so great during the late 1980s to early 1990s that EAC spread to more sites in two years than it had in the previous ten.

Extend-A-Care’s primary objectives have been to enhance the cognitive, social, and physical development of children, to assist working families in becoming self-supporting, and to reduce the number of Central Texas children who fall victim to or commit crimes due to inadequate adult supervision. In 2019, over 3,500 children will participate in EAC’s school-year programs and 900 in EAC summer programs, forging positive and meaningful relationships with peers and adult role models as they engage in activities that boost self-esteem, promote physical fitness, and support academic development.

 

About the YMCA of Austin

The YMCA is a nonprofit organization that has served the Austin community since 1953 (nationally since 1851), providing health and wellness, aquatics, youth sports, day camp, childcare, youth leadership and family enrichment opportunities for more than 100,000 members and 30,000 program participants annually. More information on the YMCA of Austin is available at www.austinymca.org.

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

Contribute to the Y

We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. As the leading nonprofit committed to helping everyone thrive at each stage of life, we are uniquely positioned to take on new and long-standing challenges more comprehensively than anyone else.

Your support through the YMCA of Austin’s Annual Giving Campaign makes this possible.

Donate