Tarrytown YMCA Hopes to Move Its Childcare Programs to Tappan Hill

YMCA officials have recently submitted a proposal to the school district to use the soon-vacant building of the former public kindergarten on the hill.


Visit the any weekday and you've got kids and older folks trying, sometimes a bit awkwardly, to navigate the same tight corridors and heavy doors. The original portion of the building just celebrated its and space is at a premium throughout.

“We turn away three to four families [for childcare] a month,” said VP of Marketing and Community Development Barbara Turk. “We're at 90% capacity but that's counting some half-day kids that take up a full slot.”

Even before the announcement that the two rooms in the otherwise empty Tappan Hill School on Ichabod Lane, the Tarrytown Union Free School District that owns the former public kindergarten had put the call out to the community for proposals on the rest of the space.

Now that the whole thing is available, Turk says “even better,” as the Y would have no trouble filling it.

The YMCA has just submitted its proposal for use of the full facility as a childcare center, hoping to house all its infant, nursery, pre-K, youth and after-school programs in one building. This comes after recently moving the early childcare program into the on Wildey Street, where eight infants and their caregivers use one floor while the senior citizens have the other.

“Ideally,” said CEO Gerry Riera, “we would put it all under one roof. It only makes sense for us to move the whole thing.”

Turk said the Y would then be able to expand its programming in both locations. “There's a lot going on here,” she said. “We're very hopeful and excited about the possibilities.”

Riera stressed that 'possibility' part, saying he was unable to estimate when, or if, approval would come and what kind of timeline would follow. (Patch has not heard back yet from school superintendent Dr. Howard Smith on the selection process.)

“It's too difficult to judge right now,” Riera said. “The licensing part is out of our hands.” They would need to renovate the space and get it licensed for a daycare, he said, assuming they were even selected and could work out a lease with the school district.

“It's definitely a better location for daycare,” Riera said. “It's a former kindergarten so it's just ideal. There are some trade-offs of course, but we are maxed out. It's difficult to mix kids and adults in this old building.”

Those of the stroller-brigade who currently walk their kids to the Y's central location may be put off by the hike up the hill – “great exercise,” encouraged Turk – but those who come in cars will surely appreciate a better parking situation.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.  

Krista Madsen (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I am one of the stroller-brigade, by the way, so have mixed feelings on this. Anyone else excited or upset by the prospects of going to Tappan Hill?
Cynthia Aridas April 05, 2012 at 04:57 PM
The school district is tight for space now and with more kids coming in each year, I bet it is only a matter of time where there is a need to move Pre-K and K back to Tappan Hill. Some of the many plus' of having the childcare in the Y is the close proximity to the train, parents drop off the kids and go to work. Did the Y ever see this as a reason as to why they were maxed out. The childcare has use of the pool for swimming lessons which would not happen if in Tappan hill. What about the parents that use the tot drop and go work out or run errand, it would not be as convenient. My daughter is in her last year there, so it really does not affect me. However, if it did I might have to think twice about the location, not as convenient.
Krista Madsen (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Great questions. I've asked the school district about your first one and will report back in an article tomorrow!
Barbara Turk April 05, 2012 at 08:45 PM
The Y would in all probability still offer some tot drop services for the fitness center and lap swim parents (and even those who run to the grocery!).


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