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Childcare facility in Geneva makes changes to address staffing issues

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

Geneva Lakefront Childcare Center has been around for more than 30 years. It’s the largest in Geneva and has capacity for more than 100 children. 

And changes are happening there. It has a new Executive Director, Geneva native Allauna Overstreet-Gibson. Also, the Board of Directors approved a wage increase that started in January for staff. 

“It’s an under-paid profession,” said Board of Directors Chair Amaris Elliott-Engel. “People are really doing it because they love it. And they love kids. The general situation of childcare being underpaid, the labor shortage has made it a bigger challenger. Retaining and recruiting staff has been an issue. We did raise every wages to at least a dollar over minimum wage. For folks who have been at the center for longer, or for folks that have a leadership role, their pay might be higher. The board said we want to make sure we have enough staff.”

But that’s not the only challenge they’re facing.

“It’s the lack of supply, a lack of childcares,” Elliott-Engel said. “It’s only been exacerbated. Because of Covid, some daycares have shut down and that’s the story throughout New York State. So we have two shortages, of people to work and facilities. We’re not at full capacity. We’re not able to hire all the staff we need to hire to have full capacity. And to have every slot filled. We have people on the waiting list.”

But new leader Overstreet-Gibson hopes to keep things moving in a good direction. She hopes her experience in the local community will help.

“I graduated from Geneva High School in 2010, Hobart and William Smith in 2014, Boys and Girls Club right out of college recreation to assistant executive director. I worked at a YMCA in Seattle. And moving back home, was offered this position, and really my passion lies with the community and working with the youth in Geneva. Being the role model that I didn’t have when I was a kid is what rooted my passion for working with kids.”

They are looking for volunteers on the board of directors. Please email Board Chair Amaris Elliott-Engel at [email protected] if interested.