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Waynesboro YMCA launches program to care for children of essential personnel

As of March 18, 2020, the Waynesboro Family YMCA plans to be closed until March 31, 2020. |...
As of March 18, 2020, the Waynesboro Family YMCA plans to be closed until March 31, 2020. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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While the Waynesboro Family YMCA may be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they are now opening their doors to provide child care for people who still have to report to work during the crisis.

According to the YMCA, starting on Monday, March 30, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the YMCA will provide care for children of essential personnel in the Waynesboro community.

"At the Y, we are focused on social responsibility, health living and youth development," said Jeff Fife, executive director of the Waynesboro Family YMCA. "With the mandate to close schools, many people still need to work and find appropriate care.

"I'm proud of our staff and their ability to mobilize quickly to serve children in our community."

They will prioritize children already enrolled in YMCA programs, and space overall is limited to 72 participants due to government mandates. Following social distancing requirements and Gov. Northam's 10 person mandate, the Y will spread children out throughout the facility to limit all groups to 9 children or fewer.

"We are closely following the guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Social Services," said Rebecca Patton, childcare director at the Y. "Our kids will have frequent hand washing and practice social distancing."

Patton said that volunteers and staff will also be regularly disinfecting areas where children are present.

The Y will accept children from preschool age through fifth grade on a first-come, first-serve basis, and registration must occur 24 hours in advance or by Friday for the following Monday.

Daily rates for Y childcare services will be:

• School Age Y Member: $16.80 per day·

• School Age Public: $20 per day

• Preschool Y Member: $20 per day

• Preschool Public: $23 per day

Tuition will be drafted on Friday each week.

Scholarships are available for those that qualify, and the Y has a form for parents who are interested in participating but not prepared for the unexpected costs of children at home due to the government mandate from coronavirus.

"The community can pitch in to help with this effort by donating online to the Y and participating in our online auction," Fife said.

Since this situation is ongoing, parents will be updated on a daily basis for any programming activities or changes of any kind.

If you are an essential employee and wish to register your children for childcare at the Waynesboro YMCA, contact Patton Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at rapatton@ntelos.net or (540) 241-4797.