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Westerwood Tavern Raises Funds for Childcare Co-Op

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Westerwood Tavern is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, November 12th for the College Hill Childcare Co-0p.

The 35-year-old Co-Op is moving to the Westerwood neighborhood. The relocation to 504 Guilford Ave. is slated for January 2017 and comes after the Co-Op was forced to vacate from their previous Lindley Park location this past March.

“We had been in that building for almost 10 years,” says Sara Rosenblatt, a Co-Op parent and fundraiser.

Over the past several months, parents researched sites and solicited funds for the move before deciding on the Westerwood location.

The majority of Americans spend 10-25 percent of their income on childcare costs, according to 2016 survey from Care.com. College Hill Co-Op offers families an option outside commercialized childcare.

Many parents often know little about the operational side of their day care, nor do they have personal relationships with those taking care of their children.

Co-Ops, however, offer a different experience.

“The parent body is the governing agency,” shares April Forsbrey, a Co-Op parent. “And, the teachers see their kids as their own. We can drop our kids off and not give it a second thought. I’ve never wondered what is happening with my kids at Co-Op.”

“We also allow cloth diapering,” Forsbrey points out, “And that is something that was important to me.”

Snacks are vegetarian and usually organic, and the day includes lots of outdoor time.

“We structure most of our learning through play,” Rosenblatt adds. “We take our models from things that are researched-based, but I tell parents who are looking at us not to expect the cookie cutter model.”

The Co-Op brings in yoga and music teachers, for example.

Katie Southerland, the Co-Op’s Executive Director, says that College Hill Childcare “has lower ratios and smaller groups.” Families that choose co-op day care “usually want to be involved in their children’s education.”

One requirement is that families donate two hours of time a week, either as a teaching assistant, working the front desk, or “doing what needs to be done,” Rosenblatt explains.

img_0554The pairing between a neighborhood bar and a childcare facility may seem odd, but it fits with Westerwood’s role as a unique neighborhood bar.

It’s a drinking establishment that routinely gives back to the community.

The tavern has hosted fundraisers for various local charities and non-profits, including the Triad Health Project.

The idea of approaching the tavern came to Rosenblatt because she noticed the various Art on Tap fundraisers held at Westerwood in support of the Center for Visual Artists.

“When I knew that we were seriously looking at leasing next door, it was a natural fit,” Rosenblatt said.

Mike Bosco, the owner of Westerwood Tavern, feels that partnering with his new neighbor for a fundraiser makes sense.

“Westerwood wanted to help them with the transition to the new day care facility,” he said. “We would like to see them get settled before the holidays so they can enjoy that time of year without the cost of the new facility weighing on them.”

Besides, parents deserve some down time.

“The Co-Op offers date night,” says Southerland, “so that parents can get together. People are looking for a community more than anything else.”

Forsbrey said that Jan. 2 is their safe date for opening, “but we’d like to be together for the holidays,” she says, hoping funds come through to open the doors prior to the end of the year.

The project seeks $35,000 towards upfit and for securing teacher salaries. They are also soliciting potential families who feel the Co-Op represents their values.

The new facility will offer day care for children from six weeks, and after school care for children through the 5th grade.

The Westerwood Tavern fundraiser is family friendly, from 3 pm – 8 pm with live folk music. The event will have a food truck and a raffle for a mountain getaway.

“Then put your babies to bed,” Rosenblatt suggests, “and come back for the dance party.”

To learn more about College Hill Childcare Co-Op, visit www.chcoop.org and come out to Westerwood Tavern at 508 Guilford Avenue on Nov. 12.

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