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Childcare Is In Place For Working Families

“In light of all of the disruptions that we are currently experiencing as a country, it’s nice to know our community can come together and help one another. I was extremely worried and stressed out when I found out that the Jamestown School District was closing all of their schools until April 20th. I’m a single parent with a very limited support system, all I could think of was how in the world can I work full-time and stay home and watch my under-aged child? I don’t have any close family or relatives that live within the area and being a transplant from a different state less than a year ago, friends aren’t really an option either as most have to work and have found themselves in the same position. I was relieved when I received notices from the District stating that they would be providing free childcare for families who have working parents and would also be providing free breakfast and lunch for students as well. With all of the stress of not knowing what is going to happen from day to day, it has put my mind at ease that at least the District cares about our children and the situations that many of us are in. They are doing their part to help the community and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a great community of people and educators. Thank you to everyone who has made our lives a little bit more normal and easier, it doesn’t go unnoticed.” — JPS parent, Jeniffer Williams.

While classes are canceled, Jamestown Public Schools understands the importance of childcare for JPS students whose parents cannot be excused from work at this time. JPS has been working hard behind the scenes to put something in place to support them. This week, the plan was put into operation as many JPS parents and their K-5 students reported to either Fletcher or Ring Elementary School to register for daycare through enhanced partnerships with the YMCA and YWCA. Those with prekindergarten children reported to the YWCA, A Children’s Place, and Chautauqua Opportunities. Childcare services are provided five days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until schools reopen. JPS is providing daily breakfasts and lunches to those participating in this program.

“The YMCA has had a long history of being there to help in time of need,” said Gina Bloomquist, YMCA School Age and Family Director. “We are honored to be in a place to offer our assistance by providing child care at multiple sites throughout our city and surrounding areas during this time of crisis. We have been in contact with our New York State licensor and other child care professionals to develop a comprehensive plan, taking all necessary precautions for the health, safety, and well-being of children, staff, and families.”

Fletcher Elementary School Principal, Maria DeJoy, reports that “Fletcher’s ‘West Wing’ is ready to go.” At Ring Elementary School, Principal Annette Miller reported that childcare at Ring is also ready to receive students. In preparation for these daycare operations, cleaning staff at both buildings completely sanitized the rooms. Rooms will be disinfected every day. Each classroom has its own bathroom and no more than 10 children will be in each room. The photo below shows Ring custodian, Diane Johnson, disinfecting tables.

Amanda Gesing, Director of Grants and Community Liaison, says that there are a few slots open for parents of Jamestown Public School students who are seeking daycare solutions because they are required to work through this extended school closure. For more information, contact childcare@jpsny.org.

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