DAYTON — The Columbia County Health System and YWCA Walla Walla are partnering to build a new childcare center in Dayton. The proposed site is located next to Highway 12 near Artisan Way and Blue Mountain Station, the food processing park developed by the Port of Columbia.
A request for grant funding was recently completed by the Columbia County Health System and when the grant called for a partner to provide the care, the health system turned to the YWCA’s childcare center, My Friends’ House, a licensed childcare program for children ages 1-6 that has been operating at 121 East Birch Street in Walla Walla since 1987.
“The lack of childcare facilities within our area is keeping prospective employees from filling important positions in our community,” Dayton Mayor Zac Weathorford said.
Weatherford, along with a group of business leaders, educators and local government officials believe the childcare center will have a positive effect on local economic development and support the grant. YWCA Childcare Director Tabitha Haney, a Dayton resident, has also seen her town’s childcare options diminish, which is a growing concern.
“Having a fun and safe environment for children will allow families to work, knowing their child is being loved and cared for,” Haney said.
While waiting for approval of grant funding, the YWCA continues to actively look for space in which to provide childcare until a permanent facility is in place.
Photo of proposed childcare site via YWCA Walla Walla