Closed schools leaves nine area YMCA childcare programs scrambling for space

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As local school districts decided to stay closed and start the fall semester online, the dominos of daycare issues are starting to fall, specifically for families who use the YMCA for their before and after school childcare.

There are nine YMCA programs that run out of school buildings from various districts and when the schools are closed so are the buildings. That’s left everyone scrambling to come up with space for the nearly 1,000 families who typically rely on the Y for childcare.

The dominos started to fall after the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department announced its recommendation that all area schools start their fall semester virtually. That’s when area districts started to make the move to go online. Toledo Public had already made that move and keep its buildings closed at least until October 1.

The YMCA has decided for the immediate term, it will designate one facility in each school district to house it’s childcare programs. For Toledo, it’s the Wayman-Palmer location, for Oregon it’s the East Toledo Y.

But that takes away choice for parents like Sonya Spruill whose 10-year old son Tyler usually goes to the Byrnedale location. In March he was bumped to the Wolf Creek location and now would have to go to Wayman-Palmer.

“These are children that should not be clumped all in one setting,” Spruill said. “They should be able to go where they are comfortable with going; that’s yet another change for the children.”

In the meantime, the YMCA is desperately looking for other facilities to house its childcare programs to open up more spots in order to meet social distancing requirements.

“The fluidity of this whole pandemic on childcare has been very difficult,” says Brad Toft, President and CEO of the YMCA. “It’s going to be a very difficult fall. Part of the challenge is that the state needs to provide some guidance and maybe a little latitude for us to open additional facilities, and really expedite the licensing process because there’s going to be a lot of kids looking for high-quality care and tutoring.”

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