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Oneida Area Daycare Center to expand

Sayles street childcare center will accommodate Wee Care's patients

With the announcement of Wee Care's closure next month, Oneida Area Day Care Center, located on Sayles street, sprung into action. The facility plans on constructing another building on its site, adding three more classrooms in order to accommodate 40 new clients from Wee Care.

They have also applied for an expanded license to accommodate the additional children, starting on Sept. 15, according to a press release issued by the hospital last week.

Sharon French, executive director, also said that the center will offer some sort of discount for the Oneida Healthcare Center employees who received discounts at Wee Care. There were only eight who took advantage of the program and those clients will be eligible for a discount at OADCC as well.

"The hospital has said they will sponsor some discount," French said. "The details aren't settled yet."

French said that the transition has been going smoothly, as the hospital and OADCC have been working together for quite sometime.

"We've been in collaboration with the hospital to ensure that no one is left without care," she said.

French and staff have been trying to make sure that the care received is top quality now that the choices are limited for Oneida families.

"Our staff is highly qualified, exceeding the requirements in most cases," she said.

She also said the center had early learning programs and recently began a nutrition program to combat child obesity by educated children and parents.

Wee Care's last day is Sept. 12 with school age children's program ending Aug. 29.

"It hasn't been an easy decision to make but it's definitely the right one," ECF Nursing Home Administrator Bryan Ehlinger told the employees during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon. "It (Wee Care) was started back in 1990 as a recruitment & retention tool to provide quality, affordable and convenient day care for our employees, and it served that purpose quite well for many years, but we have always had to subsidize it." He noted that only eight of the sixty children currently enrolled at Wee Care and two of the fourteen School Age enrollees belong to full-time OHC employees. "They're using different alternatives now and it has become obvious that we no longer need to be in the day care business. We can utilize the building space and the financial resources that subsidized the program to complement our healthcare mission," he said.

French said that OADCC will be willing to interview Wee Care's staff and give them priority in filling positions opening for the facility's expansion.

Anyone with questions about the Oneida Area Day Care Center can contact Shannon French, Executive Director, at 363-0080

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