CHESTER COUNTY, PA — As new schooling models emerge due to COVID-19, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is welcoming children to its childcare and early learning programs in addition to newly-created learning centers specifically for children attending school virtually.
YGBW has been safely offering camp and childcare to more than 1,000 children a week since Chester County moved to the yellow phase of the State’s reopening plan in June. To ensure the safest experience possible, numerous health and safety guidelines have been implemented in collaboration with the CDC, Department of Human Services, Chester County Health Department, American Academy of Pediatricians and the Pennsylvania Board of Health.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our talented team who continually create the safest experience possible, while ensuring children still have every opportunity to learn, grow and thrive,” said Denise Day, President and CEO of YGBW. “We understand this is a trying time for everyone – especially parents – and as an organization committed to strengthening our community, we’re here to do everything we can to support all.”
Enrollment is currently open for childcare, preschool and pre-K programs, STEAM Academy, state-licensed Kindergarten and in-person learning centers for students in grades K-6 at eight YGBW branches across Chester County (programs vary by location).
Childcare at the Y: Nurturing, Safe & Affordable
As the largest provider of licensed childcare in Chester County, YGBW offers a vibrant learning environment where children are nurtured to their full potential, develop a love of learning and are prepared for success in their coming school years. Childcare is open to children ages six weeks or older.
Preschool & Pre-K Programs: Educational, Safe & Convenient
- Traditional Programs – Children enjoy safe, hands-on learning and build social, emotional and physical skills, while ensuring school readiness.
- Montessori Preschool – Montessori programs at the Kennett and West Chester Area YMCAs focus on fostering respect, cooperation, order and choice within limits while promoting strong character and values.
- Kindergarten Academy – The state-licensed kindergarten program at the Oscar Lasko YMCA in West Chester, offers a small class size with before and after care included. Y kindergarteners have been shown to read at or above grade level, improve benchmark testing scores and many learn at the first grade or advanced first-grade curriculum level.
- STEAM – This half-day program at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn introduces children to a wide variety of brain-building activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Learning Centers: Convenient, Affordable & Multi-Faceted
- Students in grades K-6 attending school virtually will receive in-person, full-day academic support, socialization opportunities and physical fitness activities. Plus, they’ll have access to YMCA amenities such as playgrounds, gymnasiums, outdoor spaces and more. Program runs Monday-Friday beginning August 31 from 7:30-3:30 with an option for aftercare.
- Student to staff ratio is 1:8 with a degreed teacher and/or educational specialist available for every 24 students.
- Financial assistance and sibling discounts are available.
Health and Safety Procedures in Effect
- Daily health screenings, including temperature checks, are performed on all YGBW staff and students.
- Frequent handwashing breaks and enhanced disinfecting procedures are in effect.
- Social distancing is employed through the use of stable groups, cohorts of children and staff who remain together throughout the program.
- Children ages two and up are required to wear masks as well as all staff.
- Parents and guardians will remain in their cars during drop-off and pickup with a YGBW staff member accompanying each child to his or her classroom.
As a non-profit dedicated to serving and strengthening the community, YGBW offers financial assistance for its programs, with no one being turned away due to an inability to pay.
For more information on childcare, early learning programs and learning centers and to register for programs visit www.ymcagbw.org/childcare.
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