By Sayde Moser-Walker
In a small, rural community non-profits are essential because they provide much-needed services for community members. Tillamook County is a great example of that, with literally hundreds of non-profits designed to provide services that would potentially otherwise not exist.
One challenge Tillamook County faces is finding affordable child care. From a provider standpoint, it is also a challenge. The costs associated with providing childcare are extremely expensive, which dictates the price to offer the service.
The Tillamook Early Learning Center (TELC) is one of the largest providers of child care in the county, but trying to operate multiple child care sites while keeping costs low is a challenge. The biggest cost a child care organization faces is staffing. To maintain proper ratios with quality, qualified staff that meet state certification requirements requires a hefty investment.
Recently, Amanda Cavitt who served as Executive Director of TELC found the opportunity to take a larger role in her and her husband’s thriving restaurant, the Garibaldi Portside Bistro. Amanda’s exit left a hard hole to fill in TELC’s administration.
TELC’s board met with community leaders to establish a search committee to find a replacement for Amanda. During this process, a collaboration was developed between TELC and the YMCA. Through an employee leasing agreement, TELC will be able to utilize a YMCA employee as their Executive Director. Under this agreement, Emily Critelli has been named Executive Director of the Tillamook Early Learning Center.
“Creative solutions like this are what make non-profits thrive,” said Kaylan Sisco, CEO of the YMCA. “We can support each other all for the greater good. While we hate to lose Emily, the Y will be able to continue to lightly utilize Emily’s business acumen in the areas we need, and TELC receives a highly qualified candidate.”
Emily comes to TELC with both classroom experience and business management experience. She also meets all the state certification requirements saving time and energy associated with trying to get a director into compliance.
“The last few years at TELC we have experienced unprecedented growth,” noted Julie Hurliman, the TELC Board President. “New partnerships formed through Preschool Promise, the NW Early Learning Hub, and TSD9 have created new opportunities as well as a few new challenges. Amanda was able to navigate us through new systems pretty successfully.”
She continued, “As Kaylan indicated, creative solutions like our newest partnership with the Y, is what will keep us moving forward. Amanda was a great leader, and our Board of Directors is confident that Emily will be wildly successful as well. She really feels like the perfect fit for TELC. She is most certainly qualified with her background, experience, and education – add to that she is an awesome all around person – and we really got the whole package with her. We could not be happier about having Emily take the helm.”
Kaylan noted that this partnership highlights the importance for non-profits to take a hard look at supportive infrastructures through creative solutions. When collaborations are possible, they usually result in cost sharing and savings which translates to more savings passed on to the community members.
Tillamook Early Learning Center’s Mission:
Working with our families and communities to build a solid foundation for our students’ academic and social success.
Offering a variety of educational programs for ages 18 months to 6 years of age.
For more information please go to our webpage www.tillamookelc.org or call the center.
By Sayde Moser-Walker