YMCA Barker Center to Remain Closed

The Door County YMCA Board of Directors made the decision Tuesday to not resume childcare services at the Barker Child Development Center in Sturgeon Bay. The center discontinued its operation of childcare at the onset of the pandemic in late March, and now it will remain closed. Door County YMCA Chief Executive Officer Tom Beerntsen says, “This was a very difficult decision. The Board of Directors and staff discussed every option, reached out to past donors, local government entities, industrial leaders, foundations, and sought grant funding. We met with a childcare facility in Green Bay to gauge their interest in expanding operations. We met with local individuals and organizations who have expressed interest in getting into the childcare business. Unfortunately, these efforts have not found a solution to offset the minimum projected losses for affordable quality childcare.” Since the programs inception in 2012, the center served six week-old babies through children of age 4. Since opening, almost all 4 year-olds have left to enroll in “all day 4k” through the public school system, and this broke the business model for childcare. The Barker Center incurred significant financial loss despite operating at full capacity and generous donations to help subsidize the center. The Door County YMCA remains focused on strengthening the community, but the Barker Center will now sadly remain closed.

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