1. What is your background and how did you end up at BASCOL?
Angela St. Laurent: I came to BASCOL 13 years ago. Previously, I was running the art department for a newspaper. After some personal experiences, I decided to stop working. A woman at my church suggested that since I like children, I should work with them. So, I started working at BASCOL. I started as a teacher. After two years, I became a site director, and now I am Program Manager. I’ve come full circle because I love my job so much, and I honestly love getting up and coming to work.
Holly Hayden: I started working with kids in summer camps when I was 15. When I was in school, I started working at BASCOL because the hours are very flexible. I was a site director running one of our site locations when schools were closed, helping with remote learning. In January, I was promoted to assistant program manager (after the interview she was promoted to program manager). I have been with BASCOL for three years.
2. Can you tell us about the program you organize at BASCOL?
Angela St. Laurent and Holly Hayden: BASCOL stands for Before and After School Care on Location. We provide care before and after school when the parents have to work. We focus on play and socio-emotional learning. The social assistance has been a huge help to kids during COVID and when schools were closed.
BASCOL has 18 locations in six different school districts for grades K-6. We are located in the cafeterias of the schools. We are licensed through New York state, so we follow all of the regulations for childcare. September will mark 30 years in business.
3. It’s great that BASCOL offers a summer program as well. Can you tell us about this year’s theme, Oh the Places We’ll Go?
Holly Hayden: We have three locations in the summer, condensing the school districts into the three locations. It’s a full-day program. This is one of our biggest summers with 200 kids. With our theme, Oh the Places We’ll Go, we’re focusing on around the world. We have speakers come in, like people from the community library, local karate businesses, New York state troopers with their K-9 dogs. We are getting back into field trips this year; the movies, trampoline park, zoo, and on the last day of the program, we’re going to Seabreeze.
4. What are you the proudest of about the BASCOL program?
Angela St. Laurent: I’m very proud of BASCOL. We are always there for the children in our community. We even stayed open during the pandemic. In the world we live in today, our children are safe and happy in our program. We pride ourselves on the safety of the children. I’m proud of the advocacy that we do with the school administrators, and also the advocacy we do for the children of New York state in childcare in general. Once a year, Holly and I go to Albany to meet with legislators to advocate for children in childcare that go to before and after school programs.
I also work with the School-Age Child Care Program (SACC) to help educators further their education. SACC is a program from New York state providing site directors with education without going to college
I’m also proud of how flexible we are and that we have a great team!
Holly Hayden: I’m proud of the way that we communicate to give the best opportunity for our kids. We have great communication with our staff on what our expectations are to provide high-quality childcare to the kids We work with the families and the community to make sure that the opportunities that we provide fit every child’s needs. As a young professional, working for BASCOL is a great opportunity to further myself in the childcare nonprofit world.