As we turn over the pages of our calendars to begin the month of August, I wanted to provide an update on our plans for our Out Of School Programming options in the fall. When the early dismissal of schools occurred on March 13th, the Hopewell Valley YMCA provided childcare services for the children of emergency responders and essential personnel through July 3rd. When Governor Murphy allowed camps to open on July 6th, the Y proudly switched our services over to summer camp and has been providing care to 50 children each week.
We are now at the half-way mark of summer camp programming and it’s time to celebrate our accomplishments of caring for our children in a safe and healthy manner over these four months. With over 3,600 childcare, camper, and staff days in attendance, we have had zero cases of COVID-19. Small groups (pods) of 10 children, social distancing, wearing masks, frequent hand-washing & disinfecting, and frequent cleaning/disinfection of surfaces has proven to be an effective strategy for protecting our children and staff in these anxious times.
As New Jersey phases in its “re-opening the state” plan, our YMCA leadership has collaborated with the HVRSD Return to School Committee as we have tried to determine which services will be needed in our community beginning in September. The YMCA staff is hard at work planning for a new and very different school year. The current elementary school schedule for HVRSD schools has dismissal at 12:30PM, prior to lunch, with a mandatory daily remote learning session from 2-2:45PM. We are planning to offer Out-Of-School programs to wrap around the school schedule for children entering Kindergarten through grade 8. All of our programs will continue to follow Center for Disease Control Guidelines and New Jersey Office of Licensing/Department of Children & Families regulations. These will include daily screening with temperature check, social distancing, the wearing of masks, operating in small groups, hourly hand washing practices, and consistent staff with each group.
Soon, we will distribute a non-binding survey to the community to gauge each family’s interest and/or need for childcare in September. Your participation in this survey will help the YMCA plan our staffing needs, operating hours, supply purchasing, and allow for appropriate social distancing. Please provide us with your feedback through the survey as soon as you can, with a deadline of August 7th.
It is our goal to provide:
- Morning care at 4 elementary schools from 7-8:30AM
- After School Care at 4 elementary schools from 12:30-6:30PM
- Youth Activity Center, based upon need, between 7AM and 6:30PM
Part of our collaboration with the school system includes exploring the option of providing healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack items to our participants. We are working with Pomptonian (the HVRSD food service vendor) to permit parents to order lunches for children to eat just after arriving at the after school program and prior to engaging in the mandatory afternoon remote learning sessions. In addition to offering lunches, children will have an option to purchase breakfast items (fruit, cereal, cereal bar) during morning care and snack during the after school program.
Thanks, in advance, for your support and advice as we prepare to return to school!
HOPEWELL VALLEY YMCA STAFF
- After School Enrichment Hopewell Valley YMCA is pleased to offer a selection of after school enrichment programs right in your child’s elementary school. Kids can play, learn and excel after the bell without ever having to get in the car!
- Before and After School Care Hopewell Valley YMCA offers Before and After School Care for the Hopewell Valley Regional School District at all four elementary schools. We offer a Youth Activity Center for grades 6-12.
- SCOPE Day – Schools Out Program Grades K-8 Hopewell Valley YMCA’s School's Out (SCOPE) Program is offered and provided when school is out to meet the needs of parents and members of our community who need care for the day when the students do not have school. All children in grades K-12 from any school district are welcome to register for our SCOPE program.