YMCA to provide emergency childcare

WATERTOWN, NY —  Community Stakeholders have come together to ensure that emergency workers can continue to serve our community during this unprecedented time. The Watertown Family YMCA in collaboration with Jefferson County, School District Leaders and Healthcare Providers will open restricted Emergency Childcare Sites in Jefferson County.

“Childcare is one of the major concerns of the community as we move through this critical stage battling COVID 19. It is necessary to keep workers in the health and public safety sectors available to meet the needs of the residents of our community. I commend the YMCA, CAPC, BOCES and our public-school system for their creative thinking outside the boundaries of traditional delivery service models to meet the demand for services, ” said Scott Gray, Chairman, Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

Only children of workers in healthcare, emergency services and other essential personnel are eligible to participate in Emergency Childcare. Emergency Childcare will be provided at ten sites for children of school age and at the YMCA Daycare in Watertown for daycare aged children.

“The YMCA is here to serve the community wherever we are needed and stand ready to find ways to assist,” said Denise Young, CEO Watertown Family YMCA “Our extraordinary workforce is uniquely prepared to care for children and families during challenging times”.

“This innovative partnership between the County, the YMCA, and area public schools is a testament to the North Country commitment to collaboration, practicality, and sharing of resources. Together we will work tirelessly to meet the needs of our children, our families, and our communities” noted Steve Todd, District Superintendent, Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES

Space is limited as critical procedures from the CDC, NYS Office of Children and Families and Public Health guidance for screening, distancing and disinfecting for childcare settings will be followed. Registration is on a need prioritized first-come first-served basis and space is limited.

To register contact the YMCA, (315) 755-2005 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5 pm.

“Now more than ever before, we need our community organizations to stand ready and collaborate, especially those best equipped to meet the increased demands rapidly and with the greatest ability. The Watertown Family YMCA is uniquely positioned to help ensure that those protecting all of us have the childcare support needed to carry out their important, lifesaving work” noted Rande Richardson, Executive Director, Northern New York Community Foundation.

“High-quality child care lets parents work, secure that their children are cared for and safe. In unsettled times, children need the reassurance of trained staff and appropriate routines. We are 100% in support of this partnership serving the essential workforce and will continue to assist in any way we can” stated Cathy Brodeur, Director, Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project.

The YMCA is in constant contact with state and local health and emergency response authorities and will adjust its services as needed or required.

All other onsite YMCA programs and activities will remain closed in line with guidance received from state and federal authorities however The YMCA website watertownymca.org is offering linked Y360 classes and other classes for members and the community to keep up with their health while social distancing from home. The date of reopening of facilities will depend on governmental guidance.