MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The City of Memphis is partnering with the YMCA to offer free childcare for children over five years old to essential workers at all community centers.
They are starting with eight community centers and will then slowly phase in the others, offering free childcare at 23 community centers in all.
“As more businesses are opening back up and more are going back to work, I know many of you are concerned about childcare,” said Mayor Jim Strickland.
Jerry Martin is the CEO and President of the YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-south. He says they already have been providing childcare programs and serving 700 kids.
“We recognize that essential workers need childcare in a safe, supportive environment,” Martin said. “We put additional safety procedures under the guidance of the CDC and health department.”
Martin says that includes health screenings and additional cleaning throughout the day. He says nine kids will be assigned to one counselor, and their group will not mingle with others.
“In terms of health and safety, we will eliminate field trip programs and pool visits for the most part. It will look very different than our summer camp model has in the past,” Martin said.
To qualify, parents must be a Tennessee resident and be considered an essential worker under the governor’s order. You can click this link to find out if you qualify for free childcare.