HANNIBAL | The YMCA of Hannibal is providing emergency child care for medical professionals, first responders and other essential workers of the community at a time where schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The child care program will utilize the YMCA's standard child care curriculum and provide active spaces. With the Hannibal YMCA being closed to the public, it enables usage of multiple areas to allow for physical distancing between students.
YMCA of Hannibal marketing and communications director Kayla Williams said there are six children currently enrolled in the program, but the YMCA has the ability to care for up to 80 kids safely.
“Across the country, other YMCA's are doing this,” Williams said. “We are finding the numbers are low because there are a lot of people taking time off of work and are not going anywhere. Once they start going back in, maybe those numbers will increase.”
The YMCA of Hannibal is offering the emergency care program to anyone who is an essential worker and needs child care.
“(There) has been positive feedback,” Williams said. “We are just hoping that we can grow eventually, and we are just trying to get the word out that we are here.”
Besides the social distancing measures being taken, the YMCA will also take temperature checks of children coming in to ensure that they are not sick.
The YMCA staff cleans and sanitizes the spaces used for child care first thing in the morning, throughout the day and after the day care closes.
Williams said the children have been going out to the playground for recess during the day.
“We have a playground and it's been pretty nice outside, so they have been going out and playing,”Williams said. “We are trying to take every precaution of each classroom. Once it grows a little bit bigger, each classroom will have no more than eight kids with two staff to keep to the (10-person limit).”
Emergency child care at the YMCA is available for kids ages kindergarten through fifth grade, with the hours running from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The service costs are $15 for members and $25 for guests per day; with breakfast, lunch and a snack provided for the children.
The YMCA of Hannibal is also offering scholarship opportunities for the emergency child care program for those who cannot afford the costs, but need the child care.
“They can fill out an application form to see if they can get any percentage off of that cost,” Williams said. “We definitely don't want to turn away people who really need us, but unfortunately can't afford it.”
Registration for the YMCA's emergency child care is available by calling 573-221-0586 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parents can also email Youth and Family Director Summer Page at email@example.com registration.