Valley YMCA locations open in time for summer, but there will be some changes

Arizona’s stay-at-home order is expiring Friday, May 15, and for many, that means physically returning to work next week and kids going to summer camp or a childcare facility.

Valley YMCA locations are opening up their childcare services to all parents for the rest of this month, not just for essential workers, like how they typically operated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents can expect programs to follow social distancing, sanitizing guidelines and to have their kids’ temperatures checked daily before entering the facility.

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13 out of the 15 YMCA locations across the valley have been offering emergency childcare services throughout the stay-at-home order, and during that time they’ve made some changes in order to meet the governor’s safety guidelines.

"We have one staff to 9 kids per room, we do have multiple spaces," explained Katie Smetana with Valley of the Sun YMCA.

Staff members even come up with fun ways for the smaller kids to remember to wash their hands and stay 6 feet apart.

One thing that will be starkly different is the amount of kids at the facilities. Because of the new guidelines, capacity will be nearly cut in half.

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"Typically in the summer we do serve about 1,000 kids per week, right now were serving 250 children so our capacities will go down," Smetana said.

Summer camps will still go on at all 15 of the Valley of the Sun YMCA locations. They will open for all-day summer camp beginning June 1.

Because of the reduced capacity, managers say they could end up having a waiting list for open spots.