YMCA Cape Cod Expanding Free Childcare For All Essential Workers

YMCA Cape Cod is now approved to offer Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs and will expand childcare for all essential workers starting Wednesday, April 1, at five locations on Cape Cod.

The program is available only to parents and guardians who are essential workers as defined by Governor Baker (see https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services.)

There is no cost to families. The programs will operate seven days a week until further notice. Childcare hours are drop in from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m, at the following YMCA Cape Cod childcare locations:

  • Falmouth Hospital Campus, 67B Ter Heun Drive, Falmouth
  • North Falmouth Congregational Church, 155 Old Main Road, North Falmouth
  • Lyndon P. Lorusso YMCA, 2245 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable
  • Harwich Elementary School, 263 South Street, Harwic
  • Stony Brook Elementary School, 384 Underpass Rd, Brewster

Each location will accept a maximum of 40 children, from ages 13 weeks to 12 years, at any given point in time.  Siblings will remain together as much as possible.  Children will receive free breakfast, lunch and dinner and three snacks.

Registration is not necessary, but parents must complete information forms on the YMCA Cape Cod website:  https://ymcacapecod.org/wp-content/uploads/YMCA-Cape-Cod-EEC-Emergency-Child-Care-Child-Info-Forms-.pdf. To reduce wait time at drop-off, parents are asked to fill out the forms in advance of dropping off their children.

Parents must remain in their car at drop-off.  Temperatures will be taken of all children and staff at the time of drop off.

“During these unprecedented and uncertain times, we are honored to expand this critical service to all essential workers,” said YMCA Cape Cod CEO Stacie Peugh.  “If the demand for supporting essential health care workers increases, we will determine how we can best serve the greatest need with our limited regulated capacity.”

Peugh noted that most of the YMCA has been laid off and the organization’s revenue streams “have taken a significant blow.”

“There is minimal state funding available to fulfill our mission and be of service to the those who have no other childcare alternatives,” she added. “There are calculated risks associated with opening childcare sites during this time, but the risk to the community at large, when essential workers are not able to work due to lack of childcare, is much greater. Supporting the front line of this battle is exactly what the YMCA should be doing in times of world-wide crisis.”

Governor Baker, through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care established a process to fund approved Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs to serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens. This approach prioritizes public health and safety while maintaining critical service for vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work during this pandemic. “Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs” will be the only childcare programs that are allowed to operate during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

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