B.C. Kowalski/City Pages

The YWCA child care center currently serves 41 families and 50 children. The organization announced this week that it would permanently discontinue its long-standing childcare program.

Dozens of families are left searching for new child care after YWCA officials on Wednesday announced they would permanently discontinue child care services in Wausau.

The news comes just three months after the YWCA announced a partnership to provide discounted child care for residents working in Wausau’s Riverfront District. Elizabeth Messner, executive director of the YWCA, cites budget constraints as the reason for the closure.

The YWCA abruptly ceased child care operations in September 2015, when parents were given just two days notice. At that time, records in the state’s child care accreditation system showed 13 rule violations discovered in a July 2015 review. The facility reopened two months later under new management, and as recently as October had plans to expand its programming.

YWCA officials are assisting families by inviting area child care centers to set up information tables for parents today, Jan. 26. Staff will continue to help place children in new facilities before the Feb. 17 closure, Messner wrote in a Jan. 25 letter to parents. The YWCA currently serves 41 families and 50 children, Messner tells City Pages.

Following the closure, the YWCA will hone its focus on educating and empowering women and girls while seeking to promote racial equality in the Wausau area, Messner says.

To find a list of accredited area child care providers, visit dcf.wisconsin.gov/youngstar.