Closure of meal site could be good news for younger families

Residents with a Scranton zip code and employees of Scranton Manufacturing will receive a survey questionnaire about childcare in the next few weeks, supervisor Dawn Rudolph told the supervisors Monday.

An informal committee including Rudolph, Jim Ober of Scranton Manufacturing, Trisha Christensen of the Family Resource Center in Carroll, Cherie Cerveny of the Greene County Early Learning Center, and Teresa Mobley and Tom Wittrock, board members of the Scranton congregate meal site, met last week to discuss the possibility of opening a childcare center at the current congregate meal site.

Elderbridge Agency on Aging is closing the congregate meal site effective June 30. The Methodist Church sold the building to Elderbridge for $1, with a clause that should the congregate meal site close, the building would revert back to the church. The committee hopes the church would consider a similar sale for the purpose of childcare.

The building has a new roof, new heating/cooling, and a multi-room layout that could be used for childcare without “astronomical cost,” Rudolph said.

The project is still in a very preliminary stage. Tentatively, it would function as a “satellite” of the Greene County Early Learning Center, making staff training easier and reducing administrative costs. Rudolph said a childcare center in Scranton could benefit not only Scranton Manufacturing, but it could also reduce waiting lists for childcare in Jefferson and in Carroll.

Although the population in Scranton is relatively low, it is on a commuting route for many families.

Ober is on the Greene County Development Corporation board and on the Vision 2020 steering committee. Increasing the childcare options in the county has often been noted as crucial to future economic development.

“Maybe this is a project that can come out of the Vision 2020 process,” Rudolph said.


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