YMCA Opens Emergency Child Care for Edward Hospital Health Workers

Emergency Child Care
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Emergency Child Care Program

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago has opened an Emergency Child Care Program for essential frontline health workers at Edward Hospital, in collaboration with Edward-Elmhurst Health and Naperville School District 203.

The Y began offering the service earlier this week and operate the child care program out of Elmwood Elementary School, which is where they usually hold their Safe ‘n Sound before and after school program. The service allows hospital staff to drop off their children at the school from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Health Care staff on the frontline of this pandemic deserve our support. We need these skilled workers to help us battle this public emergency. But they have families like the rest of us and it is our responsibility to assist them,” said Erika Wood, Executive Director of Suburban Education Initiatives and Safe ‘n Sound in a press release.

The Emergency Child Care Program can help up to 50 children from kindergarten through sixth grade, in accordance with the state of Illinois’ stipulations. The cost is $50 per child, per day but essential workers can apply for state assistance that would reduce the cost to $10 per child, per day.

The program has structured programming that includes physical activity, arts and crafts, and homework help. They also provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.

“To have the peace of mind that there is a place where our kids can be well taken care of while EEH staff takes care of patients is a true gift. I cannot thank the Y and School District 203 enough. They made it happen in record time,” said Jennifer Ullrich, system director of Leadership Development and Employee Experience at Edward-Elmhurst Health in the press release.

Christina, Emily, and Jon Streit

According to the Y, Christina Streit has been dropping off her two children, eight-year-old Emily and six-year-old Jon everyday before starting her shift as a lab supervisor at Edward-Elmhurst Heath.

“My kids are getting much-needed physical activity every day. The Y keeps them engaged with a variety of activities that actually interest them. I feel my kids are safe and they love it,” said Streit in the press release. She also added that Y counselors help her kids with their studies.

Safety Precautions

To keep children and staff safe, they’ve placed precautionary measures in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Take the temperature of children and adults upon entry.
  • Verify no one is experiencing any COVI-19 symptoms and there hasn’t been any recent contact with anyone who has COVID-19.
  • Eliminate large group activities and reduce group sizes to no more than 10 people in a room.
  • Plan activities that don’t require close contact and increase the space between tables.
  • Arrange for nightly deep cleaning.

“We wouldn’t be offering child care services if we didn’t feel we could maintain social distancing and keep the children and our valued staff safe. Rest assured that if anyone starts exhibiting symptoms, we will immediately remove and isolate that individual and call their family for immediate pick-up,” said Denise Lam, Chief Operating Officer at YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago in the press release.

How to Register

Edward workers can email sns@ymcachicago.org or call 630-392-6449 to register.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.