YMCA offers extended childcare options during pandemic

In light of the developing back to school situation facing Hopewell Valley parents this fall, the Hopewell Valley YMCA is actively working to accommodate the revised schedules and changing childcare needs of Hopewell families, as well as area school faculty living in other districts, who need support as every school in the nation struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the start of the Hopewell Valley School District (HVRSD) school year approaches, the Y will be widely distributing final details and registration information to the community. If you have not already done so, the Y asks that you provide feedback through its needs assessment survey [https://hvymca.org/child-care/] so it can best finalize those plans. If you need services but are in financial need, the Y will be there and will have confidential processes to assist you.

YMCA CEO Doug Pszczolkowski indicates that the revised program, which was mentioned by Dr. Smith in the HVRSD Board of Education meeting Friday evening, is meant to provide learning support for students who need guidance or assistance, have special needs, and/or whose family cannot be at home to provide necessary supports (due to jobs, medical issues, lack of appropriate student home workspace, internet access, etc). “There are many moving parts with constant changes. We are still planning and refining details like state licensing, staffing, finances, and frankly…community needs,” said Pszczolkowski.

The Y is working with the district to develop details for in-school classroom support for school academic hours (if all-remote 8:30-3:30 or on remote days in the A/B model, or the hybrid 2-2:45 time). Pszczolkowski continued: “The expectation is a YMCA-administered program with district support. It’s a very fluid situation with things changing pretty much in real time as the district works to finalize their plans – but the Y has been there with them throughout and will be there for our community this fall as our children go back to school. Whether it was emergency childcare in the spring for our essential workers or the mobile food pantry, our YMCA has adapted to meet the changing needs of Hopewell Valley families.” 

“The YMCA is committed to the Hopewell Valley community to support the needs of single parents, working families, essential workers and everyone else impacted the changes in education resulting from COVID-19. We also are working actively with other YMCAs statewide to lobby for the funding and regulations needed for us to continue to deliver these services safely and perhaps even more important, affordably,” said YMCA Board President Ryan Kennedy. 

“Our customers and members are significantly impacted by the complications and difficulties of remote learning and, as a charity, it is our mission to serve them, support them and advocate for them,” Kennedy continued. “That will mean new services developed arm-and-arm with the school district to support our families though this time. That will also mean fundraising and advocacy both locally and statewide so that these essential services can be affordable to all, and as we have always done, subsidized or free to those in need.” 

If you are able to help the Y defray the costs of these essential services, the organization is seeking  tax deductible donations to the YMCA’s fundraising campaign so that it can continue to offer free and reduced tuition to those who need it [https://hvymca.org/donate/]. “We expect this fall will bring new and increased financial challenges for many of us in Hopewell Valley – and with the community’s help, our Y will be there ready to support them all, as we always have,” added Pszczolkowski.  

Submitted by the Hopewell Valley YMCA

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