New childcare option opens in Washougal

SWCCC provides before- and after-school care at Hathaway Elementary

Two childcare programs are joining forces to offer local families increased options.

The Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium is partnering with the Washougal Community Education’s Safe Place Activities Center to bring before- and after-school care to kindergarten through fifth-grade students. It is housed at Hathaway Elementary School.

SPACE operates out of Gause Elementary, but is not open on non-school days such as teacher in-service times, or winter break.

However, SWCCC is only closed for major holidays and is open during all school break times. Unlike SPACE, it also accepts state subsidies.

“Our hope is that families feel supported by having this option for their young students,” said Lisa Young, Washougal Community Education director. “SPACE is a wonderful program but we felt there was a need for families for safe, quality, local child care who can’t afford the SPACE program.”

Young said over the years, she has heard from several parents who are looking for reliable, safe child care.

“I couldn’t recommend anything because I had no personal experience with what is out there,” she said. “SWCC has 25 other locations in Clark County and is a solid program.”

It is licensed through Education Service District 112 and uses Creative Curriculum, a nationally recognized, research-based method to help children gain self-help and competency skills.

“Our philosophy at SWCCC is to enrich the lives of children through play,” said Kristi Baker, director. “We look at a child’s needs and develop activities to meet those. Also, we like to see what the school’s focus on learning is, and offer enrichment in a fun way that supports it.”

Currently, there is transportation to SWCC offered from Cape Horn-Skye Elementary. There is no bussing offered to or from Gause Elementary, but this could change in the future if there is a need.

“Students can also be enrolled in SPACE and SWCCC at the same time,” Young said. “Since SPACE is closed on non-school days, this is another option. We’re really hoping to reach those families who otherwise wouldn’t be aware of this.”

Like SPACE, the program is open from 6:30 a.m. until school begins and after school until 6 p.m.

Non-school day hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hourly rates are $5.40 per hour, per student at both sites, and $4.70 for additional siblings.

Both offer breakfast, snacks, recreation, homework help and reading time. The Hathaway non-school day program is $30.

“I am excited to be a part of Washougal and want to help meet the needs of the community,” Baker said.