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Brainerd Family YMCA Breaks Ground on Child Care Center


Officials at the Brainerd Family YMCA, alongside community leaders, volunteers, members and invited guests, officially broke ground on the renovation of the new Child Care Center at 703 Oak Street on September 7th. The new facility will provide licensed childcare for 66 children, infant through toddler. The renovations to the existing building include three infant rooms (24 spots), three toddler rooms (42 spots), a motor skills area featuring a ‘tree house’, a craft and innovative play area, along with space and features which will make the center best in class with developmentally appropriate design and safety features. Research has shown that Pre-K programs have a significant impact on a child’s success in school, as well as their social, emotional, and communication skills. These early learning experiences can set up a child for a lifetime of success.

“There is a critical gap for high quality, affordable childcare in our community,” said Shane Riffle, CEO of the Brainerd Family YMCA. “We know that parents need a place where they feel good dropping off their children, knowing they are in the best hands. Our trained and nurturing staff ensure the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in our care receive the tools they need for kindergarten and beyond.”

“This is a big day for our community,” said Tyler Glynn with the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation. “We’ve known about a critical childcare shortage in our community since before the pandemic and now we are able to get a lot of kids into a program that provides affordable and quality programming and also gets parents back into the workforce.”

As of today, the Y has raised $1.2M with $300,000 remaining toward their goal of $1.5M for this project. “We are so grateful for the support of the businesses, foundations, families, and individuals who have ensured we raised enough to celebrate this official groundbreaking. However, we are still seeking contributions to ensure we can complete the project and provide this critical community resource,” said Riffle. “This is the first of a number of projects the Y has planned to continue to serve the children and families of our community.”

An investment in early childhood education results in a positive rate of return. Research indicates that for each dollar spent on quality early learning, there is a long-term savings of $13 based on increased tax revenue, reduced crime, education savings, and welfare savings.

Construction will begin now and will be complete in early 2024. The center will open its doors to accept children in the early spring of 2024.

More information and project updates will be available at

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