Nonprofits partner on children’s center


YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids partnered with Covenant House Academy for a Childhood Development Center. Courtesy YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

A new development center for children between six weeks and six years old is open in Grand Rapids.

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids recently partnered with Covenant House Academy in Grand Rapids to open a new Child Development Center. The center, which is located at the academy at 50 Antoine St. SW, Grand Rapids, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house earlier this month.

The center will be open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. YMCA staff will be managing it, said Phil Meade, associate communications director for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. All children who attend the center full time will receive YMCA youth memberships, he said.

Meade said the YMCA currently has one lead teacher and three assistants at Covenant House Academy’s child development center, which has a maximum capacity of 66 children.

“If we are at max capacity, we would have 12 staff members. All of the staff members have been/will be new hires for the Covenant House Academy center,” he said.

“We’re licensed by the state, so it really depends on how many kids we have. We’re taking enrollment right now.”

Covenant House is a statewide organization that gives high school dropouts and at-risk youth the chance to earn a high school diploma. Meade called the Child Development Center a true partnership organization, as many of the children who will be enrolled will likely have parents in Covenant House.

“(Covenant House) saw a need within their students, because it’s basically a school for kids who dropped out or got pregnant and wanted to finish their education. They really see it as a way to supply their need own students’ needs for (child care),” he said. “Most of the kids will be from the neighborhood surrounding (Covenant House).”

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