Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers

In a matter of days, our lives have drastically changed. Our everyday patterns have been disrupted and the connections in our communities have been constrained. In the midst of this, our essential workers are putting in extra hours to help us through these challenging times. Because essential workers and first responders are on the front lines fearlessly working on our behalf, it’s important for the community to come together and give them our full support. By supporting them, along with following the guidelines for keeping ourselves and our neighbors healthy, we can contribute to speeding up recovery time for all of us.


The burden on essential workers

Essential workers include Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure. The full list of essential businesses can be found at https://coronavirus.in.gov/2496.htm. One of the burdens for essential workers is the lack of childcare support. Because childcare centers and schools have closed, there’s a shortage of options to provide necessary supervision for little ones. When essential workers don’t have care for their children, our entire community is impacted.


Partners coming together to help

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, Indy.gov, United Way of Central Indiana, AYS (At Your School), Early Learning Indiana, and others have partnered together to provide emergency childcare for the children of essential workers. Care for children ages 5-12 will be provided by the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and AYS, which regularly offer before and after school care and programs during school breaks. In addition, Early Learning Indiana, which runs several daycare and preschool sites, has care available for children under 5.


YMCA locations providing childcare services to our Essential Workers

The Y program offers care designed to run in small groups of no more than 9 children per Y staffer. Derrick Stewart, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis said, “We are taking extraordinary precautions to ensure everyone stays healthy, while at the same time offering essential workers piece of mind, knowing that their children are safe and well cared for.”


The service is offered Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the following locations:

    • Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis (currently open )
    • Benjamin Harrison YMCA, 5736 Lee Rd., Indianapolis (currently open – ages 3-12)
    • Fishers YMCA, 9012 E. 126th, Fishers (currently open)
    • Hendricks Regional Health YMCA, 301 Satori Pkwy., Avon (currently open – ages 3-12)
    • Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay, 430 S. Alabama St., Indianapolis (currently open)
    • Jordan YMCA, 8400 Westfield Blvd., Indianapolis (currently open )
    • Witham Family YMCA 2791 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon (currently open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.)


Each child must be fever – and symptom -free to attend. A screening process with the following questions will be completed as each child is signed in:

  • Do you have a fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, and/or a sore throat?
  • Have you been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?


Financial Assistance is available for any families who may need support for the cost of care. Click here for program details and to register.


What can you do to help our communities?

Please share this information with those who could benefit from these services, keeping in mind that only those listed as essential workers qualify. In addition, according to the CDC, here are things you can do to help prevent spreading the virus, reducing demands on our essential workers.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

For over 165 years, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis’ purpose has been strengthening the foundations of our community. From teaching kids the skills to remain safe around water to helping cancer survivors regain health and preparing teens for success in college, the Y has been there.


When you give to the YMCA Center of your choice, you’ll help ensure that your Y, and your community, come back stronger than ever. Click here to learn more.


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