Yuma Children’s Academy celebrating 10 years

Yuma Children’s Academy Is 10 Years Old!
Yuma Children’s Academy (YCA), Community Childcare and Preschool, is celebrating its 10th birthday with a Family & Friends Fall Festival and Open House on Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Yuma community is invited to join in the fun.
From its very beginning, YCA was a community-driven project. The initial planning began in 2008 when a meeting was held to address the concern expressed by families, employers, and local home care providers for additional, local child care in Yuma. Information from the then Northeast Colorado Child Care Resource and Referral reinforced this concern with data that child care needs for 306 out of 613 children in Yuma County were going unmet.
Responding to the opportunity to help families and strengthen the Yuma community, a board was formed, nonprofit status obtained, and thanks to a generous financial donation from Heiserman Family mission funds by the Presbyterian Church, property and a vacant building was purchased on the west end of Yuma
It was decided early on that YCA would open 100-percent debt free, and a successful campaign made that possible with funding from state foundations, federal resources, and generous local donors. With the exception of an architect and playground construction company, the majority of the work to renovate the empty structure was completed by local sub-contractors and services, all supervised by board member, Keith Malchoff who volunteered as general contractor. The renovation resulted in a large child center, with the additional community development benefit of a re-purposed vacant building.
When YCA opened its doors on September 30, 2013, teacher, Kristi Mekelburg, greeted one Crayon College preschool class of 18 children. What should have been a gradual increase in filling the remaining classrooms soon became a steady stream of families needing care, with many rooms quickly filling to capacity.
Today YCA serves approximately 75 full-time enrolled children, and maintains an approximately 8,000 square foot building, with 15 full-time staff (11 Early Childhood Teachers, and 4 additional employees serving as aides and support staff). Classrooms include: an Infant Room and a Toddler Room, each providing childcare and nurturing activities; a 2s/3s Room offering childcare and pre-Preschool activities; a 3-and-4-year Preschool; a 4-and-5-year Pre-Kindergarten. School-age kids through 12 years of age attend YCA during summer months, holidays, and after-school hours.
Though quality care for the kids of Yuma area families was, and always will be, YCA’s number one priority, YCA would not have been possible had it not been for a small group of Yuma citizens that recognized the need to provide a large childcare center for kids and families, with the added benefit of supporting businesses and community. The Yuma community, families and friends of YCA, are welcome to attend the Fall Festival and enjoy the Open House on September 23.