Emergency Childcare Partnership
Q&A with our CEO, Dean Snider
As families feel the effects of COVID-19 across the Skagit Valley, the Burlington-Edison School District (B-ESD) and the Skagit Valley Family YMCA have been working to solve an unprecedented challenge: Families have been asked to stay home, but what about the families who are still out providing us with essential services such as healthcare and groceries? Together, the B-ESD and the Y have signed an agreement to help our essential workers continue their work by providing care while schools are closed.
Q: What is the service being offered?
Dean: The Burlington-Edison School District and the Skagit Valley Family YMCA are working together to offer school-age childcare to B-ESD and YMCA families who work in essential services during the Coronavirus crisis. Children will be cared for by our highly trained staff and will be provided lunch, snacks, and a variety of interactive activities throughout the day. The service will be based at our Hoag Rd site from 7:30 am - 5:30 pm weekdays for up to 40 children.
In my short time in Skagit, I’ve heard countless stories of how this community pulls together in times of need. This is yet another example of neighbors coming together for the greater good, united as one Skagit. I am honored to be partnering with the Burlington-Edison School District and I am thrilled that, as a result, we can provide excellent childcare to the families who are sacrificing so much to serve our community during this unprecedented time.
Q: How did the idea of this partnership originate and how will this collaboration be mutually beneficial to both parties, as well as the greater Skagit community?
Dean: The Y is always seeking out ways to collaborate with other Skagit community leaders to meet the needs of the Skagit Valley community. A partnership with B-ESD made perfect sense during this challenging time, as together we will be able to offer families better childcare coverage than either of our organizations could on their own. Families have access to more hours of service, while B-ESD and the Y can share staffing and consolidate costs. This is a win for everyone involved.
Q: What measures are the Skagit Valley Family YMCA and the BE School District taking to ensure the safety of all children and staff involved in this program?
Dean: Our team is up to date on the latest protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and are prepared to adapt to any new recommendations from the CDC or our local public health departments as this situation evolves. We are working closely with the County to ensure that we are following all recommendations to keep our children and staff safe.
Q: Has this opened the possibility for future partnerships between the Y and Skagit school districts?
Dean: The Y has already been a major partner with our school districts offering swim lessons for grade-schoolers, providing swim times to the high school swim teams, and by providing before and after school care at our many childcare sites throughout Skagit. Although, this agreement has pushed us to think creatively about how to maximize our resources to solve the greatest needs of the community. I think this will have a lasting effect that will spark both of our teams to find more unique partnership opportunities to continue to serve our Skagit Valley families into the future.