Local organizations helping parents with childcare as schools re-open

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Several Stateline schools have already released back to school plans, but the possibility of kids staying home more may still be leaving parents scrambling. A local YMCA is working to help parents fill those gaps.

“We were hearing from a lot of our families- back to school is stressful in general, but especially with Covid-19, that there’s a lot of stress around it,” explained Rachel Latham ,the executive director of Camp Winnebago.

With some local kids going back to in-person instruction and others opting for remote learning this fall, local youth organizations are trying to help parents navigate what could be a stressful school year.

“We’re working with school district officials to try and create the best environments and the safest environments and the most productive and constructive environments for these kids,” said Trisha Tousant of Rock River Valley YCMA.

Trisha Tousant is the chief operating officer for YMCA of Rock River Valley. She says the Y will run its kids time before and after school program this year, although it may have a different look due to COVID-19.

“We can definitely expect for kids to be wearing masks, we can expect for games and activities that are a little further apart, more small groups that are spaced out further,” Tousant added.

Additionally, the Y will add a new program to support families who opt for full-time remote learning.

“Remote learning is a big stress for a lot of our families. Especially if they’re working, they’re not sure how they’re going to be able to support their child and their families at the same time,” Latham explained.

Camp Cares will run Monday through Friday at the Y’s Camp Winnebago. Latham says it will be part childcare and part recreation-enhanced study.

“We’ll be able to help the kiddos that are doing the district provided learning with those courses, with the coursework they have, but then we’ll supplement it with some camp activities. Outdoor education, our climbing courses, all those types of things,” she said.

“Parents need to work, kids need interaction, kids need guidance, kids need a safe place to be, and so the Y is certainly stepping in to try and create those opportunities, as are several other community agencies trying to create the best opportunities for these kids this fall,” Tousant concluded.

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