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Boys and Girls Club closure compounds need for afterschool care

VESTAL (WBNG) — After the Boys and Girls Club Of Western Broome closed unexpectedly last week, many parents are still wondering what comes next.

One of the main issues is now finding reliable childcare once again. At the Jewish Community Center of Binghamton, childcare spots don’t open up very often, leaving many people on waiting lists with no clear end in sight.

Related: “Leaves a bitter taste”: parents upset over handling of Boys and Girls Club closure

The youth director for the JCC told 12 News program size is very tightly regulated by New York State. This means even if afterschool programs wanted to take in more participants, most of them couldn’t anyway.

It all has to do with space of the facility and amount of staff, so short of drastically expanding these programs aren’t left with many options.

The JCC staff said they see firsthand everyday the need for more daycare options locally.

“In my experience, there’s a really big need in our area for afterschool care because I get calls weekly,” said Stacy Robitaille. “This time of year, with school starting again, I’m getting calls daily for people looking for afterschool care and unfortunately we’ve been waitlisting people since springtime and aren’t able to take any more.”

This need existed before the Boys and Girls Club closed, and has been compounded by the hundreds of parents who no longer have reliable childcare.

One of those parents, Melissa Spencer, says her concern over finding somewhere for her child to go is at the top of her priority list.

“My hours at work are very early in the morning, and so I need to make sure that I have someone who can take care of him before school starts and hold onto him a little bit so he’s safe,” Spencer said Tuesday.

Josh Rosenblatt

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