When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the Indiana stay-at-home order was issued in March, many families – especially those who were considered essential workers – were left scrambling to find childcare. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis staff quickly identified the need for childcare
so that medical personnel and other essential workers could continue working while their children were cared for and continuing their e-learning.
Sarah Larew is a nurse who has worked for Witham Health Services
for 12 years. She was relieved when she heard that the Witham Family YMCA would be providing emergency childcare for essential workers. Sarah’s son, Vinny, is eight and now a third grader.
“Most of my family works in healthcare, so I didn't really have a good option for childcare when they made the decision to close schools and finish the year out with e- learning,” says Sarah.
“Obviously with the situation being what it was I couldn't just not work for an extended period of time, so when I got the email from work that the YMCA was offering essential worker childcare, I got there as fast as possible to get him signed up.”
Emergency childcare programs offered full day care including e-learning help, play time and even children’s exercise classes. Throughout the program staff maintained a focus on the health and well-being of participants and staff.
“I was very comfortable sending him,” says Sarah. “I loved that they were screening everyone and constantly updating their policies to reflect what was being said with regards to social distancing and just the effort in general to keep everyone safe and healthy. It was a bonus that they helped with e-learning.”
Emergency Childcare Transitions To Summer Childcare
Once the emergency childcare program for children of essential workers ended, the Y immediately moved into Summer Childcare
. Policies ensuring the health and well-being of participants and staff continued through the summer childcare program.
“We decided to stay with the Y for summer,” says Sarah. “Vinny has said for several years now that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, so he loved the STEM activities and swimming with his buddies.”
Vinny enthusiastically confirms that swimming was his favorite part of spending days at the Witham Family YMCA.
“He comes home exhausted, filthy and starving - so I know he's playing hard and having fun,” says Sarah. “We've been super happy with the Y and will definitely be utilizing the childcare options in the future.”
Support The Y
Programs like the childcare options at the Y are made possible due to the generous support of YMCA members and donors. Support YMCA programs by donating to the YMCA Annual Campaign