The Jamestown Police Department and the Chautauqua Childcare Council have teamed up for another year of helping the community keep their children safe while driving.
A child safety seat check event, hosted at Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. on Chandler Street, was a huge success according to CCC director Bonny Sleight.
"This year has just been wonderful because we've already had 32 people and it's been steady throughout," said Ms. Sleight. "We offer this every year to educate parents on the important issues regarding quality child care. My husband Ken and I started the event four years ago because the police department was looking for a new location to host it. We thought it was a perfect opportunity for the Childcare Council to get providers, parents and the community involved."
Chautauqua Childcare Council was on site to answer questions and serve food to guests.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
Sgt. Jason Donato and Detective Ken Sleight, along with several other officers, were on-site to help area residents replace old or recalled seats, answer questions and offer guidance on proper installation.
"We're providing parents and caregivers the opportunity to come down and have their car seats inspected to make sure they are safe and being used properly," said Donato. "We're checking them to make sure there are no outstanding recalls, advising them on the proper use and making sure they are in the seat that is appropriate for them."
The free replacement seats were provided through a grant from the Governor's Child Safety Commission.
"We're making sure that when the kids leave here they are in something safe and meant to be used for them," said Donato. "Kids don't have a choice on whether or not they are wearing seatbelts. It's up to the parents and caregivers to do everything they can to ensure they are safe."
Jamestown resident Caroline Bellardo stopped by the event to help her cousin get a seat inspected and to replace an old model.
"I came out to make sure the children are transported safely," said Bellardo. "I think many of us have car seats but we use them incorrectly and don't even know it. So, we're finding the seat that fits each child correctly for their weight and age. The seat we had wasn't appropriate because it was outdated and didn't look like it fit them right for their size. "
The CCC is a council committed to top quality services for all children. It is a division of Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., a nonprofit agency that works with New York state, Chautauqua County, federal agencies, the business community and provider foundations to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of child care throughout the region. For more information, visit chautauquaopportunities.com/District/Department/5-Chautauqua-Child-Care-Council.