Pulaski County, school system, YMCA come together to offer child care for 100 kids

In Pulaski, many families rely on Randolph Park Summer Camp for fun and enriching care for their children during the summer months.  I send my kids there over the summer and they love it.  Due to COVID-19, however, camp (along with the pool) is closed for the summer.  I know this was a hard decision for the county to make, but it was certainly made in the best interest of families and for the safety of our community.

This, however, left the 300+ kids who normally attend camp without reliable or safe child care options.  Even during the transitions to employment with COVID, over 200 kids had signed up to attend camp.  Out of deep concern for the safety and  wellbeing of children and families in our community, Pulaski County Public Schools, Pulaski County and the YMCA of Pulaski County have come together to offer care for up to 100 kids at Pulaski Elementary School.

Here at the YMCA we really wanted to do more to support families, but we are out of space.  So, we approached PCPS, who said, YES!, you can use our school.  Then we approached the county to employee the staff and act as the fiscal agent.  They not only said YES! But also wanted to ensure that the camp could still operate at the normal tuition rate of $65/week.  At a follow up meeting with the schools, we asked for 10 classrooms (a challenge to the school maintenance staff who work so hard to get buildings ready over the summer)…they said YES! And encouraged the use of classrooms with private bathrooms (only making more work for them).  We asked if the schools could provide breakfast and lunch, they said, well our staff are planning to have vacation the first few days, but YES! We will make it happen.

With every request individuals have agreed to take on more, increase their workload, delay vacation and bend over backwards to make this happen.  Everyone has given a resounding yes to ensure families do not have to make impossible decisions between work and their children.  It has been a humbling and blessed experience and one that solidifies my love for Pulaski County and makes me even more #PulaskiProud.

We are currently accepting pre-registration with a very quick turnaround deadline of Wednesday, June 24, to allow us to hire and train staff in preparation for our July 6 start date.

Jessie Woods,

Pulaski County YMCA