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Geneva’s Lakefront Childcare Center Names New Executive Director


The largest daycare center in Geneva and surrounding towns has hired a new executive director to tackle entrenched challenges of hiring and recruiting staff, the center’s Board of Directors has announced. Allauna Overstreet-Gibson has been engaged as the new executive director of the Geneva Lakefront Childcare Center, located at 61 Elizabeth Blackwell St., which has the capacity for over 100 children.

“Ontario County is not alone in the country in facing a shortage of childcare availability because of challenges in hiring and retaining staff,” Board Chair Amaris Elliott-Engel said. “The Board believes that Allauna’s empathy, deep experience with youth programs, and strategic and visionary leadership will deepen the center’s warm culture and make it a star in the state for places to work in childcare.”

Overstreet-Gibson was born and raised in Geneva and earned her Bachelor of Arts at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For four years, Allauna had various leadership roles, culminating as assistant executive director, at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva. Allauna also spent over a year and a half working in youth programs in Washington State.

In 2021, the Ontario County Youth Bureau recognized Allauna with its 2021 Youth Advocacy Award.

“We are thrilled to welcome Geneva’s own Allauna Overstreet-Gibson, graduate of Geneva HS ‘10 and William Smith ‘14,” Board Vice Chair Allison Murray said. “We found Allauna’s deep understanding and commitment to our community and long history in youth development to be a perfect fit as the new director of GLCC.”

“One of our current staff said she attended Allauna’s programming at the Boys and Girls Club when she was younger, and that we made a great pick,” Elliott-Engel said.

“Throughout my life I have experienced a full range of Geneva’s support system – as a welfare and free lunch recipient, a participant in after-school programs, then as a college student at William Smith College,” Overstreet-Gibson said. “This has motivated me to provide support back to the community in every way that I can. I pour my heart and soul into this community out of gratitude for the many ways that growing up here has shaped and influenced me.”

Overstreet-Gibson, who performed in Theatre444‘s production of Rent while seven months pregnant, will be bringing her love of theater to the center.

“My love for theatre goes beyond singing, dancing, and acting while growing a human being,” Overstreet-Gibson said. “I actively use my theatrical background in my professional life, and I believe it is a crucial part of managing any organization or business. You do not always have to love what you do to be great at it. It’s about training employees to become comfortable with becoming uncomfortable because anything can happen when working with youth. It’s about training employees on the importance of understanding that every day is a new show, and in our line of work it is crucial to leave our personal baggage at home because our children and their families are relying on us to provide a comfortable and safe service,” Overstreet-Gibson said.

Overstreet-Gibson is joining the center at a time of deep challenge. According to a study from The Children’s Agenda, a Rochester-based advocacy group for children, Ontario County lost 10 percent of its childcare slots between 2020 and 2022,
and the number of residents receiving childcare assistance from the state declined by 26 percent. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 100,000 fewer childcare workers before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to retain and recruit staff, the board has adopted a budget that offers almost all employees at least a dollar above minimum wage, which is now $14.20.

The current Board of Directors is composed of Elliott-Engel, Murray, Ashley Nelson-Hanvey, Katharine Ostrowski, and Michael Passalacqua.

Additionally, the Board of Directors is looking for new volunteers to join the board. The center has board meetings every other month on the third Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. over Zoom.

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