Hi! My name is Jodi and I work for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Since March 13, 2020, our organization has been providing limited childcare for essential workers, keeping things SAFE and fun for children, addressing their emotional needs, and enabling school learning to continue.
Together with a joint Covid-19 Childcare Taskforce, new curriculum, training, and policies have been put into practice to ensure compliance with safety guidelines. Temperature screenings are done prior to entry each morning and again in the afternoon. Staff and children wear masks, and the YMCA mandates handwashing after each activity and regularly throughout the day. Group sizes are kept to less than 10 and drop off/pick up takes place outside the building to limit the number of people coming in. Extra sanitization measures are taking place throughout the day, and at the conclusion of each day.
As summer approaches, we are turning our focus to Day Camps. For the safety of YMCA program participants and staff, we are being very thoughtful and intentional about how our limited Day Camps will be offered this summer. We’ve consulted with medical experts and are applying best practices from other YMCAs around the country. We’ll be working closely with state and local officials to implement safety strategies and will follow additional guidelines to come from the CDC and American Camping Association as well as Governor Abbott the week of May 18th. Safety, as always, has been our primary focus when delivering programs to the youth throughout the community. We are looking forward to providing a summer camp that enables kids to be kids and lets them experience connection, community, and relationships in a safe and nurturing place. Locations that will offer Day Camps and the latest information will be posted on www.ymcadallas.org/summer .
The YMCA has been blessed by the support of our local community and neighbors. We have been able to partner with churches and organizations to provide additional brick and mortar space for our childcare programs. We also received an amazing gift from Chase Oaks Church of $100k to assist with operational costs of programming Emergency Care, and Chase Oaks is offering fully paid scholarships to children of any essential worker in the YMCA Emergency Childcare Programs until further notice.
If you are an essential worker in need of help with childcare, you may visit www.ymcadallas.org/EmergencyYCare for more information. For other partnership opportunities, please email Jodi at Jnewman@ymcadallas.org.
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