Greater Valley YMCA and Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers Respond to School Closures by Offering Fall Edu-Childcare Program
August 6, 2020 at 9:03 AM
To protect students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, several local school districts have decided to pursue fully virtual or hybrid scheduling. For many working parents and families, these decisions create a problem: how to support and supervise children’s learning while also maintaining essential job income? This dilemma is shared by families throughout the Lehigh Valley, creating the need for a new virtual schooling childcare option. Accordingly, the Greater Valley YMCA (GVY) and Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers (LVCC) are partnering to provide a Valley-wide Edu-Childcare Program framework this fall.
The Edu-Childcare Program will provide an affordable, safe and accessible option for working families. Edu-Childcare will be offered at several locations throughout the Valley, at GVY Branches, LVCC Centers, other provider sites, as well as in local schools. In this program, children in Kindergarten through age thirteen will complete their remote lessons in a safe, well-equipped classroom with supervision and support. In addition, Edu-Childcare will provide opportunities for socialization, physical education, art, music, STEM and literacy activities. Nutritious daily meals are included at select locations. All Program sites will operate under strict safety guidelines informed by the Centers for Disease Control.
“A challenge of this magnitude requires a community-wide response,” comments Charles Dinofrio, President/CEO of LVCC. “Both LVCC and the GVY have decades of experience providing school-age childcare with homework support and recreation. What’s new in this plan is our intention to facilitate children’s remote learning, and our desire to enlist other organizations in safely meeting the needs of every Lehigh Valley child and family.”
David Fagerstrom, President/CEO of GVY adds, “The GVY and LVCC hope to share this model with several additional childcare providers throughout the Valley, providing more capacity through an unprecedented coalition. I think that this is a real opportunity to break down traditional competitive barriers. If we can convince other childcare providers here in the Valley to join the coalition, then we can provide families a Valley-wide solution. And I expect that it will take coordination with the School Districts, funders, and the business community to ensure the program is sustainable. After all, if people can’t find childcare, they won’t be able to return to work.”
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley will be convening local childcare providers in the hopes of expanding this program Valley-wide. “Partnering in new ways for the good of community is paramount to successfully stabilizing our kids and families. Our United Way is excited about the possibilities that exist with this blossoming collaboration to further support working families with school-age children,” said Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education and Impact, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
This virtual meeting will take place on Thursday, August 13th at 6:00pm. Providers interested in joining this meeting should reach out to Madeline Falcone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both GVY and LVCC are seeking additional staff to support Edu-Childcare. These organizations seek enthusiastic, mission-driven applicants interested in supporting community families and children. For more information on employment opportunities, or on Edu-Childcare Program cost, locations, enrollment and FAQs, visit the following sites:
About the Greater Valley YMCA
The Greater Valley YMCA is a volunteer-led, nonprofit, community organization. The Y is committed to strengthening community by positively changing lives every day. At each of our Branches, we concentrate our efforts in three areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Greater Valley YMCA serves the Lehigh Valley and consists of Branches in Allentown, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Easton, Nazareth, and Pen Argyl. To learn more, support, or join the Y, visit gv-ymca.org.
About Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers
Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers (LVCC) provides high-quality early education and child care to promote healthy child development, meet the needs of families, and encourage children to discover the joy of learning. A private, not-for-profit corporation, LVCC serves children from 6 weeks through 12 years of age at 30 locations in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties. Founded in 1970, LVCC is celebrating its 50th Anniversary throughout 2020. Visit LVCConline.org to learn more.
Join the Y
Households across our community have different needs so we offer a variety of membership types. Each of our locations offer many different programs, schedules, and classes therefore offerings and fees may vary by branch.
Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. At The Y, no child, family or adult is turned away due to an inability to pay.
Financial assistance awards are assessed on a case by case basis during a one-on-one, confidential session with a staff member. Those interested in applying for our financial assistance program are encouraged to download this form in English or download this form in Spanish, or stop in to any of our branches to learn more and pick up an application.