The Y Play child-minding area at the Chilliwack YMCA in 2019. The YMCA of Greater Vancouver launched its Essential Child Care program as of April 1. (Jenna Hauck/ Black Press file)

YMCA expands childcare to new families, priority given to essential service workers in B.C.

Yes, there are childcare vacancies in the Lower Mainland thanks to YMCA Essential Child Care program

A licenced B.C. childcare provider has opened its doors to new families recently, especially those who work in essential services.

At the beginning of April, the YMCA rolled out its Essential Child Care program to parents and caregivers who have been left without childcare as as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a collaboration with Province of B.C.

“Many of the YMCA’s programs are not at capacity right now as many families are following the advice of public health,” said Cathy Poole, vice president of children and youth services at the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “We are opening up childcare spots where they are available to any parent or caregiver who may need childcare during the pandemic, and giving special priority to those who are essential service workers.”

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver currently has more than 19 ‘Early Years Child Care’ locations (ages six months to five years), plus 39 ‘Before and After School Child Care’ programs for school-aged children.

All before- and after-school programs have expanded to offer full-day care under the new Essential Child Care program.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is encouraging parents who can care for their children to do so at home.

Because of the number of childcare spots that have opened up due to children staying at home, there are vacancies at many of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver childcare locations.

Currently, the YMCA has registered more than 40 children of essential service workers across all of its programs. They are not operating a full capacity as they are trying to ensure instructors and children can practise physical distancing as best they can.

“Since the pandemic began, the YMCA has been committed to continuing to provide childcare as an essential service to families in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast,” Poole said. “By collaborating with the Province of B.C., the YMCA will be able to continue to provide childcare services, expand our program hours and help more families in need during this pandemic.”

Additionally, since March 13, the YMCA has implemented a number of increased health measures, like daily health screenings and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, so that childcare could continue operating.

READ MORE: YMCA child care centre in Chilliwack implements daily screening procedure due to COVID-19 concerns

To apply for YMCA Essential Child Care, or for more info, go to gv.ymca.ca/child-care.

The YMCA also has a financial assistance program for those who need help with childcare costs.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChildcareCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey student earns TD Community Leadership scholarship

Harjot Bal recognized for his One Blood For Life Foundation

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

New Serpentine rail bridge completed in Cloverdale-Sullivan

$3 million crossing replacement marks first of 13 flood-mitigation projects

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read

l -->