Extend-a-Care partners with YMCA for accessible childcare

A strategic alliance between Extend-A-Care (EAC) and the YMCA of Austin is expected to pave the way for accessible childcare for the community.

The move, announced Monday via a press release, will combine the licensed pre-school, after school and camp operations offered by both organizations.

According to the release, the YMCA and EAC leadership teams became aware of the enhanced programming and operational benefits that could be realized through a strategic alliance.

“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.

“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 after school child care for more than 5,000 students at more than 100 schools in 10 area districts and charter schools. The branch will also offer day camps for more than 3,500 kids at more than 30 area locations, plus preschool and infant care. In 2018, the YMCA 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.”

Officials estimate integration of programs and administration will take place in a phased approach over the next 12 months. 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 and communications and development will merge and operate under the YMCA umbrella. 

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 in Austin 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.

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