New YMCA Program at Sandown Central – Seemed like a good idea

Parents of very young children may be happy to learn that there will soon be an early morning daycare program run by the YMCA at Sandown Central.  The aim is to open the program within a week or so, according to the program’s director who spoke to the school board on November 5th.

The program will run five days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The tuition is $60 for all five mornings. Dr. Metzler indicated that there are plans in the works for an after-school program as well.

Now this may seem like an unmitigated good but I have a number of concerns about this development:

  • It was never mentioned to the school board before it was just two weeks away from deployment
  • It was never voted on or approved by the school board
  • The program does not pay any fees to the district – not rent, not janitorial costs, not wear and tear, nothing.

This means that the taxpayers of our district are collectively subsidizing the childcare costs of the families that are using this service. The YMCA program is also competing against private child care companies in Sandown and across the district.

If you were a business owner, would you appreciate tax money being used to compete against your business?

As a taxpayer, do you think it is fair that you are paying to educate the district’s children and also subsidizing their before school care?

I’ve said it before: the notion of mixing business with public schools is a bad one.  The two have been separated by a Chinese wall for a long time and for good reason. Businesses, whether they are for profit or non-profit, have no business using public facilities for free. Our “Business Partnership Program” gives the opportunity to businesses that partner with us in some way to use school facilities. This is using public property to benefit private interests and is unfair to taxpayers and unfair to other businesses who may not want to pay money to the school district to simply stay competitive.

No one on the school board besides myself questioned this arrangement, and no one protested that it was done without the knowledge, approval and vote of the school board.

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13 Comments

Filed under Sandown Issues

13 responses to “New YMCA Program at Sandown Central – Seemed like a good idea

  1. Michele Boyd

    Any idea if the “rent free” arrangement is normal with YMCA programs? I know it is not unusual for them to run a before/afterschool program but wonder what other districts have done in their relationship with the Y.

    Michele Boyd
    Danville

  2. Jenn B

    Other schools have a YMCA program (or at least they did in the past) – do you know if they pay rent or other fees to the district? Two of Sandown’s private daycares closed this school year, so I think this is actually a good thing for parents who need day care.

  3. jd62500

    Before/after school care has always been an issue in our schools. I see no issues with what the Y is offering, it’s a reasonable cost, and a much needed service. Did private providers offer to go in to the school and provide this service at low cost as is done in Atkinson? I suppose what side of the argument you fall on depends if you view the Y as a private business or a community non profit. The buildings are already open that early, custodians are already there. As for “wear and tear” these are community buildings, ones that we use for a great variety of things including scouting, basketball, baseball…to name a few community non profit organizations. I’m happy to have the Y in our area. It provides another outlet for our kids after school that was lacking. We have no boys/girls clubs. They have been amazing from all I’ve seen and been involved with from them.

    • I’m sure everything you say is true; however, with the introduction of full-time kindergarten and now this, I don’t see how private businesses will be able to survive so that the burden to taxpayers is ever increasing. Note that the district refuses to break out the cost/revenue of full-time kindergarten so no elected official or member of the public knows if the FT kindergarten program is costing taxpayers money, but I suspect it is. All the other uses of the building you mention do not involve organizations that pay staff at the local level. “Non-profit” has many different practical realities. I do not mean to denigrate the fine work of the YMCA in our communities. I am only pointing out that it is running a business in competition with people in our own communities who are trying to make a living and contribute to our towns as well.

      • While I understand your concern about making sure taxpayers aren’t funding the daycare program, as a parent of three little kids I have to say that this is truly a great idea to have. Over the summer three daycares in the local area have shut down and I know that other child care centers in the area have a waiting list for kids to get in. By having a new option available I think there will be a large number of parents grateful for the service.

  4. sue sherman

    Remember,the Y will offer the before day program regardless of the ability to pay.The Y turns no one away.

  5. Scott

    Did you ever consider that the tuition of the students utilizing the service are covering any cost involved.
    There is likely little to no rent being paid. The space is open, why not make it easier for parents and their work schedule.
    Janitorial costs? It’s likely a couple of rooms or the gymnasium being used. If the services are outsourced its in the contract, I assure you, the entire building be cleaned M-F as needed, at the same cost. I manage a building maintenance company and that’s a standard clause across the industry. They get paid the same regardless of snow days, teacher development days, etc…
    Having programs like this encourage people to move to the town and district. More people equal more tax dollars.
    Chill out, there are bigger things to worry about. Mainly your inability to refrain from playing armchair SB member, attorney, rabble-rouser, village idiot, cretin, eejit, nuisance, etc…
    Find a professional, get help and some medication.

  6. MJ

    Mrs Green is an elected member of the school board, and should be asking these questions. Thanks to her posting the policy (doing the research/job she was elected to do) I think it’s clearer now, that custodian fees are addressed in the contract/agreement the TRSD requires of users of their buildings, as is insurance, damages and so on, even when rent is waived.

    If the YMCA is offering the service based on ability to pay, more than likely the fee is designed to cover their costs for all. I was surprised to read on another site, a resident saying they pay less at a private care center, for both before and after school care, because I thought the rate seemed pretty reasonable….$12 per day, at 2 hrs per day = $6.00/hr ($60/5 days)…teenage babysitters charge more than than!

    • jd62500

      I read that other comment too MJ. However, I read it as the private place prices were high. Might go back and ask for clarification bc now I’m curious;)

  7. MJ

    I double checked, the poster said the private place was cheaper, because she was getting before and after care for the same proposed Y price, before care only.

  8. Curt Springer

    The important issue is not whether or not the YMCA program is a good deal but rather on whose authority it was implemented if not the School Board.

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