The Parent Advisory Council for Child and Youth Services has a new look, at least on an organizational chart.

The group has created a number of Parent Advisory Boards that operate at the center level. Right now, there’s a PAB for the School Age Center and a combined PAB for the Mills and Goss CDCs.

The idea is for these boards to meet monthly, or at least every six weeks, and discuss concerns or suggestions to make each CDC better.

“Really that should be the place parents should feel comfortable talking about issues that they don’t want to go directly to the center director for,” Jessica Bossi, president of the Parent Advisory Council, said. “So, (the PAB) is for your more individualized issues.”

The boards can also hold funds, fundraise and plan different events for the summer.

The Parent Advisory Council, which meets quarterly and provides lunch, will handle what Bossi describes as “bigger-level” issues that boards feel they can’t resolve at the center level.

“This is a place where parents can come together, and they can interface with Garrison leadership and leadership from the Child and Youth Services Program,” she said. “And it’s a place for parents from different centers to come together more as a family.”

Because the council is designed to handle issues that have escalated from the different centers, Andre Terry, chief of Child and Youth Services, said he would be sure he was there for each meeting.

“Thank you for trusting us with your children,” Terry told the parents at the meeting. “I just appreciate the fact that you trust the quality of what we do in our programs. You’re here for a reason, and I think that says a whole lot.”

Bossi said one of the benefits from attending the meetings is, for example, it gives a parent with a younger child an idea of what is going on in the other CDCs that their child will eventually attend.

“More than us just talking about problems, it’s a positive place for us to share information, share events that are happening, and ways that we can make the programs better for our children.”

Parents who want to be involved in the Parent Advisory Boards or Council can call CYS Outreach Services at 313-3735. Parents who attend council meetings or serve on the PAB or PAC can earn points in the Parent Participation Program, which can help parents earn a 10 percent discount on their child’s monthly childcare fee.

The next meeting of the Parent Advisory Council will be March 11.

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