As we move into our phased approach to reopening child care we wanted to share with you some important updates.
Firstly, we want to thank our current child care families for sharing your intentions and needs for child care through our electronic Child Care Intention Forms.
We have been busy reviewing the Provincial Guidelines in consultation with Public Heath to ensure that all necessary requirements are understood and addressed as we remain focused on ensuring safety for families, children and educators.
Our first phase of reopening will take place with our licensed preschool Child Care Centres.
Based on the results of submitted Preschool Child Care Intention Forms, the YMCA will be reopening 6 out of 7 of our child care centres (for infants, toddlers and preschoolers) on Monday, July 20, 2020 with regular operating hours of 7:00 am – 6:00 pm:
- YMCA Child Care – Father Fogarty: which will serve families from both YMCA – Glynn A Green and YMCA – Father Fogarty
- YMCA Child Care – Grapeview: which will serve YMCA – Grapeview families as well as some families from YMCA – Walker Family
- YMCA Child Care – Kate S Durdan/Loretto
- YMCA Child Care – Our Lady of Fatima, Grimsby
- YMCA Child Care – Parnall
- YMCA Child Care – Walker Family: because of restricted capacity due to cohorts, some families will be offered care at YMCA – Grapeview
The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 operational guidelines mandate that Child Care Centres are only allowed to open with cohorts of 10, which are defined as a group of children and the Educators assigned to them who stay together throughout the duration of the program day for a minimum of 7 calendar days. This results in dramatic reductions in centre capacities.
As well, The Ministry of Education guidelines state that priority placement must go to:
- Returning children previously served through the Emergency Child Care system
- Care for families where parents must return to work and that work is outside of the home
- Families with special circumstances that would benefit from returning to child care, such as children with special needs
The YMCA of Niagara Child Care – Reopening Prioritization Policy can be viewed here.
Given the current government prioritization guidelines and expected reduced child care ratios we unfortunately are not able at this time to proceed with new registrations until we have assessed our ability to accommodate child care needs for current registered families.
While we are excited to take these first steps towards reopening our Preschool Centres, we also continue to look to our Provincial government, our local Public Health and our School Board partners for information that will assist us in planning our phased in approach to reopening School Age Child Care. Given the complexity of this next step we will not be able to confirm registrations to those existing school age families that have completed intention forms until mid-August.
We understand that this delayed timing of confirmation of school age care makes it difficult for families to plan however please trust that we are committed to keeping you updated on our progress and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these unprecedented times.
If you have any questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org