YMCA takes action to help parents with childcare, virtual learning for start of school year

Posted at 2:40 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 06:38:08-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – With many schools switching to virtual learning this fall, some parents are worried about childcare issues.

The YMCA is taking action for parents worried about working while kids will be learning from home. Local Ys plan to take their summer camp model and expand it into the E-Learning Academy.

“It’s a licensed childcare program that we have modified to really allow students to get their virtual schoolwork done during the daytime when they're in our care,” said Vice President of Youth Development Jamie Childress.

He said the program, which is for pre-K to eighth grade students at most of the Y's 22 locations in Hampton Roads, will now be structured around the students’ school schedule.

“Typically, our programs are filled with enrichment programs and activities that really hit on physical fitness, health and nutrition components, along with the social-emotional learning component,” Childress said. “The addition of that academic piece and structure around the school schedule is the biggest difference.”

He said the Y is hiring academic coaches to help the kids get their schoolwork done. He said they are not teachers, but people that can guide and assist the children.

“They are really acting as a liaison for the family while they are working,” Childress said.

Childress said the Y took this action because the need was so great in the Hampton Roads community.

“We got overwhelming feedback and response from families in our community who were quick to register for this program because they need a place for their kids to go during the daytime,” Childress said. "We're ready. We're positioned for what we feel like is a great program design, so now we're just hiring staff and gearing up for the start of school.”

There are 1,500 spots available in the program, which costs between 25 and 40 dollars per day. Financial assistance is available for people that need it.

Below is information from the YMCA:

Paying for full-day care unexpectedly is a challenge for many parents and your support to the Y will ensure access to working families in need. The Y says that parents can count on a program with flexible registration options to adapt to the changes the school system and families may make, with a full-day option being one of the choices.

The program will include a structured day that will allow for virtual learning time, physical activities and imaginative/fun play. If schools do choose to get back to the classroom, the Y will adjust the program around the needs at that time.

Parents can pick the days they need care or enroll children for the entire week. Registration for the Y’s e-Learning Academy is available for Pre-K through 8th grade.

Click here to learn more and to register.