THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. — The need for childcare is becoming more urgent now that the governor and local health departments are urging schools use online learning.
The South Sound YMCA is stepping up to help by offering childcare for parents who can’t work from home.
Changes have been made for the sake of safety. Staff members sanitize scissors and every single bottle of glue after children use them to ensure everything kids touch is clean and free of COVID-19.
Currently, the YMCA is hosting its annual summer camp, which is filled with artwork, education and games.
Starting Sept. 9, for the first time ever, the South Sound YMCA will offer fall childcare.
“It’s just a huge stress relief for families to know that they have staff, and caring staff, that are going to be here to assist them getting on their Zoom meetings and helping them with their homework packets,” said Brenda Banning, South Sound YMCA Senior Director of Child Care.
The Thurston County Department of Health recommends all districts start the year with 100-percent remote learning.
To help families, the YMCA will use school gymnasiums across the county to host childcare that meets CDC guidelines. They’re partnering with four schools in Olympia, two in Lacey, one in Tumwater and one in Yelm, as well as the Gwinwood Camp and Conference Center.
Staff will help students with homework and make sure students log into Zoom meetings. They’ll also host P.E. classes to keep kids active.
Banning said safety is always at the forefront at the YMCA.
“We do health screenings as you walk in the door, check temperatures, hand sanitize,” she said.
Everyone wears a mask and kids are kept in small, socially distant groups.
Every hour on the hour staff wipe down everything people touch.
Banning said they haven’t had a positive COVID-19 case. With increased cleaning measures, they hope to keep it that way while also helping kids in the South Sound socialize and succeed in school.
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