Petersburg’s Early Childhood Education Task Force met last Tuesday to discuss their progress on a collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs — Alaska

The organization is interested in restarting programming in Southeast Alaska, including Petersburg. The Early Childhood Education Task Force has been in talks about it since February of this year. 

Chelsea Tremblay heads Petersburg’s Task Force. She said the last few weeks of planning produced a mix of “great” and “frustrating” news. 

“The great news is the amount of feedback from the survey that had been handed out from the school system,” said Tremblay. 

Katie Holmlund is on the task force and runs Kinder Skog, a local childcare center. Holmlund said the task force found no shortage of interest in the program. But the focus group is having a hard time finding a place to house the program. 

“We have the right people, the right motivation — we have the audience ready,” said Holmlund. “We just don’t have a space to put in.”

Tremblay reported that the group’s chosen location fell through. 

“It’s especially frustrating in a place where a lot of places are vacant for different reasons,” said Tremblay. “And so it’s just a matter of lack of landlords, flexibility, and logistical ability.”

Tremblay is optimistic that there might be a solution to this problem among the people who answered the survey. 

She said the results indicated that almost 50 local young people between ages six to fourteen are interested in the program. Another 10 adult survey-takers said that the shortage of after school childcare is an important issue in the community.

Tremblay believes at least one interested parent might have input on where to host the program. The Task Force’s next step is to start a volunteer search committee to find a new space for the Boys and Girls clubs.