YMCA starts emergency childcare for first responders, medical workers

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Rogue Valley YMCA may have an answer for some parents who need to be at work and are struggling to find childcare amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

After Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered the closure of all school campuses in the state until April 1, many parents were struggling to figure out what to do with their kids, especially first responders who need to be out working during the pandemic.

On March 14, the Rogue Valley YMCA announced an “Emergency Child Care Plan” that will start Monday.

As part of the plan, the YMCA is suspending their usual after school and day camp program until schools re-open. The resources that were freed up will now go toward taking care of kids whose parents are medical and healthcare workers, first responders, and vulnerable populations. The YMCA said the plan is not designed for families trying to find traditional child care programs where there is an option to work.

The plan is specifically tailored to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus in the following ways:

  • This plan is different than traditional YMCA afterschool and day camp programs and will include the following components:
  • Children and staff will be evaluated each day upon entry and anyone with an elevated temperature or multiple symptoms will be turned away.
  • Children will be in small groups in multiple locations only.  No large group gatherings or activities.
  • Participants will only be allowed to attend a site that is in their own elementary school or within their home school district.
  • Time spent outside will be prioritized and time indoors will be limited.
  • Children will remain on-site with no field trips or off-site trips.
  • Snack provided by the YMCA will be pre-packaged avoiding the need for any preparation.
  • A grab-n-go lunch will be provided by the school district’s nutrition program.
  • This will be available from 7:30am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.
  • This will be available each day but understand the crisis changes daily and the need to modify this plan may also occur.
  • Funding for this program will come from multiple sources.
  • Registration will happen each morning on-site at each location.

The program will take place at the following locations:

  • Central Point School District
    • Central Point Elementary
    • Jewett Elementary School
    • Patrick Elementary School
  • Eagle Point School District
    • Outback Location (across from Hillside Elementary School)
  • Medford School District
    • Central Medford High School (the Old South High School)
  • Phoenix-Talent School District
    • Orchard Hill Elementary
    • Phoenix Elementary

The Grants Pass and Ashland YMCAs will not participate in the plan.

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