Searching for child care in Broome County

By Kelly McCarthy

June 5, 2013 Updated Jun 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The closure of Grand Care Children's Center is sending the parents of nearly 50 children in search of another child care provider.

Parents whose children attend Grand Care said they're not going away without a fight.

Nearly two dozen parents met Wednesday evening at CFJ Park in Johnson City to brainstorm ideas on how to keep the children's center open.

"It would be nice if the board of executives thought about the families that are impacted," said Anthony Coppola who has two children at Grand Care. "At least give us a chance to have an open dialog and conversation to be engaged with them and together to find a solution."

With Grand Care's doors closing, parents said this is the time to speak up and try to reverse the fate of the center.

"We need to speak for them and have the voice," said Carol Peeling, of Owego."They (the children) don't have their own, and quality child care is extremely important."

Alternative education for the children who attend Grand Care won't be easy to come by.

Many local child care centers said finding available child care on short notice will be challenging.

Employees at the Jewish Community Center's Early Childhood Center have been fielding calls from Grand Care parents all week, but there simply aren't any openings.

JCC has a waiting list until March of 2014 to accept new children, except for 4-year-olds. A recent expansion has allowed are three openings in that age group.

JCC's assistant director says this shows a great need for more child care services in the area.

"We've had a wait list for years," said Asst. Director Marilyn Heverly. "So there is a need in this area for good quality childcare, because our wait list, right now I have about 30 children in our 3-year-old wait list. That's just a lot of children on a wait list."

JCC cares for children between the ages of six weeks and five years old.

Most day care providers in Broome County charge between $150-200 per week.

Some child care providers in the area said they have a few openings available.

BOCES Circle of Friends Child Care Center currently has no waiting list and is accepting children up to 5 years old. Little Bear Cub Care in Johnson City takes children age 6wks to school age, and the ABC Childcare as well as Future Faces in Endwell also have a few openings.