South Sound YMCA Child Care Lends a Helping Hand

olympia ymca child care

 

olympia ymca child careJerry Seinfeld could have been speaking of summer vacation when he claimed “There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.”  At this midway point in the school holidays, most parents are counting the days until school starts and routines are firmly back in place.

If a helping hand is needed in the childcare arena, the South Sound YMCA is always there.  For nearly 25 years, they have provided a safe, welcoming environment for children from 4 weeks of age through 12 years.  Over that time more than 30,000 children have shared in their mission; as they advertise “at the Y we provide more than a place for kids to go.  We care for kids by providing nurturing development, healthy lifestyle choices, self-reliance through positive relationships, and values-based learning.”

South Sound YMCA Child Development Director Ron White is proud that “many of our families stay with us for years.”

ymca summer campThe Y’s team of caring and highly-trained staff provides many options for care, depending on the need and time of year.  As White explains, “We have three distinctly different experiences:  Campus is an early learning center at SPSCC that provides care and curriculum for children from 4 weeks until kindergarten.  They are focused on social and emotional growth and provide curriculum that is geared to help children be kindergarten ready when they leave the program.  Many of the children that attend this program go on to Y Care afterschool at their home elementary school.”

White continues, “Afterschool care is available at 30 different local elementary schools and is focused on recreation, health & wellness and homework assistance.  We have worked hard on transforming our program into a child-driven one.  We want them to feel the center is their own and enlist their help in designing it.  The curriculum is theme-based and focuses on learning in an experiential way.”

ymca healthy kids dayDuring the summer months, the Y offers at least five different specialty focused camps each week, with various themes.  “We continue to bring the fun because we want the children to enjoy their summer, but with a strong focus on learning around the theme,” explains White.

For military families, the Y offers Army School-Age Programs In Your Neighborhood (ASPYN).  Families in this program often qualify for reduced childcare fees.  “This has been a fantastic partnership,” White says.  “Through the Army we have received the resources to have three of our programs nationally accredited and have been able to provide numerous trainings to the staff at all of our school-age locations.  We have also had the opportunity to provide a tutor at three locations.  The tutor gives the children extra focus on school work.”  Because military life can include frequent moves and transitions for children, this extra support helps maintain continuity in education and provide a caring place for friendship and play.

YMCA_Military_BoysTo contact the YMCA Child Care Office, visit 108 State Avenue, Olympia or call 360-705-2642.

The Campus Early Learning Center at SPSCC runs Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and summer camps will continue through the week of August 25.  Camp hours are Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for campers aged 5-12.

The South Sound YMCA is so much more than just a place to exercise or take swimming lessons.  It is a tremendous resource for all residents interested in prevention, community, and caring support.  By offering childcare with an endless variety of options, the Y helps local families stay strong and successful.

 

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