Ridgewood YMCA to offer free, in-person child care for working families

Photo courtesy of YMCA

Ridgewood’s YMCA will be offering in-person child care for families in one of the highest-need areas in New York City.

With schools set to reopen in a hybrid in-person and remote learning format on Sept. 21, parents who don’t have the option to work from home are in need of affordable child care.

The YMCA’s program was created in part by a donation of $500,000 by AT&T and WarnerMedia.

The funding will allow the YMCA — located at 69-02 64th St. — to support and supervise students during school day remote learning from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting on the first day of classes. Activities like physical games and in-person projects will also be offered to give students time away from their screens.

“We are thrilled to provide childcare for hundreds of families across New York City, and grateful to AT&T for supporting this critical program,” said Sharon Greenberger, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “The YMCA empowers tens of thousands of kids and families every year through childcare, after school, summer camp programs and more. We have continued these services during the pandemic and are proud to help our city recover by serving families in need.”

This summer, AT&T also contributed $450,000 to support virtual STEM immersion programs for students in all the five boroughs.

Included in the $450,000 contribution was $100,000 to the YMCA through AT&T’s Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund, to support remote services through the YMCA’s new online content platform YMCA @ Home, which allows New York families find online fitness programming, family engagement and academic enrichment activities.

The donation also supports programs for graduating high school students to make sure they graduate on time and matriculate in the fall, as well as online ESL classes and workshops to help new Americans navigate this challenging time.

The program comes amid calls by parents and lawmakers for the state to release federal funding from the CARES Act for childcare services.

In July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would create 100,000 day care slots to help parents during the school year.

On Sept. 9, de Blasio said only 30,000 of the 100,000 free child care seats promised will be available to parents by the start of the school year.

By October, 70,000 slots will be available. All 100,000 seats are expected to be available in December, officials said.

Priority will be given to the children of essential workers, the children of teachers and school staff along with low-income and homeless students.

Parents that expressed interest in a daycare seat on the Department of Education’s website will automatically be entered into the enrollment process.

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