RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The City of Richmond and the YMCA of Greater Richmond are teaming up to provide childcare to children of medical personnel. The YMCA of Greater Richmond has also expanded to surrounding counties.
The Downtown YMCA will open on Monday and be the first of several emergency childcare centers around the city.
YMCA of Greater Richmond’s services will also be offered in Shady Grove, Tuckahoe, Midlothian and Chester on March 30.
The centers are for children in grades kindergarten through eight and will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Healthcare providers will work directly with the YMCA to register children of essential employees.
“When Superintendent Kamras made the tough but correct decision to close Richmond Public Schools last week, it was immediately clear to us that the city needed to gather its partners around the table and ensure the city’s most essential workforce wouldn’t have to worry about childcare while they’re on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.
“We are poised and ready with 16 other sites around central Virginia as the needs may rise to help the community,” YMCA President Tim Joyce said.
Right now it’s only for workers at VCU Medical Center but officials are in talks to include HCA and Bon Secours facilities as well.
Staff members will take extra precautions to make sure the virus doesn’t spread.
“They will have child to staff ratios that won’t exceed nine to one. They will do temperatures checks that will be frequent and any child that has symptoms or in a house with others with symptoms will not be admitted,” Mayor Stoney said.
“We won’t ever bring the whole mass together. They will eat on their own in places around the facility. We will be practicing all of that protocol,” Joyce said.
Stoney says plans are in the works for other essential and non-essential staff.
“We will open sites in Richmond Public School facilities to provide for other essential and non-essential staff like our sanitation workers, bus drivers, grocery store worker pharmacist and others,” Stoney said.
If approved by the Department of Social Services, Stoney will partner with Richmond Public Schools and would use those buildings to provide childcare. There’s no current timeline when that could be up and running.
“The YMCA of Greater Richmond is honored to serve the families of our healthcare personnel during this unprecedented time,” said Tim Joyce, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond. “Our quality staff team is looking forward to giving these families the comfort of knowing their children are in a safe environment with professional caregivers who are dedicated to their community.”
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