by Carol Diemer
Rockland Day Care honored its ‘€œFounding Mothers’€ and its first director during a 30th anniversary celebration this month. Operating continuously since 1983 as a non-profit worksite daycare for Rockland County employees, the center offers enrollment on a space- available basis to the public. It is one of the longest-running daycare programs in Rockland County, and one of the few county-sponsored day care centers in the country.
‘€œFounding Mothers’€ Sandy King of New City, Audrey Mullin of Blauvelt, Rebecca Spar of Hackensack and Carol Booth of Hastings-on- Hudson, were honored for their vision in believing the providing quality child care to employees could be beneficial to both working parents and employers. Rockland Day Care’s first director, Marcia Sheer of Pomona, was also honored for her role in helping to establish the center, which encouraged more women to enter Rockland’s workforce.
In the early 1980s, as women began to enter the workforce in greater numbers, availability of day care was a significant problem. These insightful women, through their grassroots movement to establish a daycare for children of County employees, recognized this and took action. After Rockland Day Care was established in November 1983, similar movements began to follow throughout the country, and the percentage of children under the age of five in a regular day care arrangement rose steadily from 22% to about 60%, where it remains today. According to the Center for American Progress, fewer than one-in-three children today have a full-time, stay-at-home parent. In 1975, only a generation ago, more than half of all children had a stay-at-home parent – usually the mother.
Rockland Day Care (formerly Rockland Worksite Daycare) is located in Building R at the County Health Complex in Pomona, NY. The program has grown from a borrowed, two-room center in 1983 to a dedicated, state-of- the-art childcare facility serving infants through pre-school-age children. The center’s highly competitive prices include the cost of two nutritious snacks as well as a hot lunch ‘€“ an option not available in most daycare settings. Rates are: Infants (6 weeks-23 months) – $260/week; Toddlers (24-35 months) – $213/week; and Preschoolers (36-60 months) – $210/week.
Enrollment opportunities are currently available at the Infant, Toddler and Preschool level. To learn more about Rockland Day Care or to schedule a tour, please call (845) 364-2697.
Carol A. Diemer is Executive Director of Rockland Day Care