Given the current high-risk situation, the YMCA of Greater Seattle has opened its King County branches to provide child care centers dedicated to serving the families of essential workers. COURTESY PHOTO

Given the current high-risk situation, the YMCA of Greater Seattle has opened its King County branches to provide child care centers dedicated to serving the families of essential workers. COURTESY PHOTO

Local YMCAs open child care for essential workers to serve hundreds of families

Pivots services to greatest need during COVID-19

  • Friday, March 20, 2020 1:57pm
  • News

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is transforming its King County branches – including Kent, Auburn and Seatac – into child care centers dedicated to serving the families of essential workers during the COVID-19 shutdown of fitness and recreational facilities.

The group includes medical providers, first responders and other essential workers like grocery and drug store employees.

The Y’s child care centers have a total capacity for 400 kids and feature the Y’s fun and enrichment-based programming, which includes lunch and morning and afternoon snacks.

Care is available beginning at 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be for a full or partial week.

The closure of Washington’s school districts has caused significant impact on the families of first responders and employees of essential service organizations, the Y said in a news release. While others may self-isolate, health care workers, emergency personnel and social service workers are working long shifts, in isolation from family, in order to provide care to the community.

“We are grateful to those who are working to serve our community during these unprecedented times, so we are stepping up to support those working on behalf of all of us.” Loria Yeadon, president & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle said. “Showing up for our community is what we do best. We’re honored to do what we do best to help families across our region.”

Given the current high-risk situation, the Y is operating in full compliance with health department guidelines. Staff are cleaning all high-touch surfaces in the facility every two hours and ensuring that children are washing their hands. Each child care hub will be partitioned into groups of no more than 10 kids in any given space. With capacity for approximately 50 kids across 25,000-50,000 square feet per branch, this provides ample room for social distancing child care programs will take place at selected Y branches full list here. Northshore child care is located off-site at local elementary schools.

In addition to child care, the Y is shifting work to support critical needs in the community:

• Providing child care to support first responders and essential workers

• Increasing hunger initiatives programs across the region

• Making well-being calls to most vulnerable members, especially seniors

• Hosting blood drives to help replenish desperately needed supply

• Continuing to care for teens and young adults in housing programs

• Continuing to compensate and support its employees and maintain facilities

To give to support these efforts, click here.

For families interested in child care, email for the next steps.

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