VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Working parents across Virginia Beach are scrambling to find childcare after Virginia Beach City Public Schools announced on Monday afternoon that it would temporarily close schools and return to all virtual learning through Thanksgiving. It’s due to the state’s recent COVID-19 metrics.
The measure took effect on Tuesday morning. Just after the announcement, the Princess Anne YMCA got very busy with inquiries.
“We had a lot of parents calling yesterday. As soon as the news came out, our phones were ringing off the hook,” said Lizzie Hill, the Youth and Family Program Director for the Princess Anne YMCA.
Jamie Childress, the Executive Director for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, explained that there are nearly 20 YMCAs throughout Hampton Roads - including Norfolk, Suffolk, Franklin and the Outer Banks - that have been operating “E-Learning Academies.” Virginia Beach just re-started their program at five facilities: Mount Trashmore, Salem, Indian River, Hilltop and Princess Anne.
The children in these programs are mostly in kindergarten through fifth grade, along with some middle school students. They are seated two or three to a table with barriers for safety and privacy. They’re also screened when they come into the facility including temperature checks.
“The parents have been so thankful, and they’re really excited that they know they have a safe place to send their kids and that they’re going to be well taken care of; they’re going to get their assignments done. They put a lot of trust in us, which we’re really thankful for,” said Hill.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Childress said they still had limited openings. News 3 also found out that Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation plans to open several of its full-time day camps later this week.