YMCA to launch childcare program for virtual learners at 7 Dane Co. locations

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MADISON, Wis. — The YMCA is launching a childcare program for local students who are learning virtually in the upcoming school year.

Starting Sept. 8, the YMCA will launch its Collaborative Learning Program at seven Dane County locations to give students a place to learn while their parents are working. The program will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Officials said the program will have the capacity to care for 330 students.

“Serving kids and families is at the core of our mission, and I’m thrilled that we can support our community with this new initiative,” YMCA of Dane County President and CEO Mark Westover said. “We expect this program to bridge gaps for families during a time of great need.”

According to a news release, the Collaborative Learning Program will have a 15:2 student-to-staff ratio and required daily health screens for students and staff. Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible during the school day. Officails said they will ave enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols in place.

Students will have access to lunch and snacks in addition to outside time to keep the kids active.

Officials said Epic is giving the YMCA access to its former headquarters to use as a childcare facility. The YMCA is also partnering with local school districts to use school facilities.

“Having great partnerships enhances so many of our efforts at the YMCA,” Westover said. “In this case, we’re able to serve more families, and there’s potential to expand capacity further as we move forward.”

The Collaborative Learning Program will be hosted at the YMCA on Cottage Grove Road, Kennedy Elementary School on Meadowlark Drive, the YMCA on Medical Circle, Epic’s old headquarters on Tokay Boulevard, the Sun Prairie YMCA on Don Simon Drive, Horizon Elementary School on Heatherstone Drive and Sugar Creek Elementary School on Main Street in Verona.

Registration is available here.