Struggling with Back to School This Year? Here are Five Ways YMCA Learning Centers Can Help

A student does virtual assignments for virtual school at a YMCA learning center

Learning pods, hybrid schedules or virtual learning … we know parents are grappling with some difficult choices for fall and many are seeking a balance between safe, affordable and enriching options. 

Earlier this year, we surveyed more than 1,000 families in Chester County asking what support they needed the most support if schools were to go to virtual learning  in the fall. Our respondents loudly voiced their desire to balance social opportunities, physical activities and academic support. 

We heard you and in late July we announced the addition of YMCA Learning Centers. While we know it is no substitution for the ‘return to normal’ that we all crave – here are five reasons they’re something you should consider for your family.

  1. Educational Support

    Students will have dedicated academic support to complete their schoolwork. Each group of 12 students will be supervised by a YGBW staff member and a degreed teacher or educational specialist will be available for every two groups, ensuring a staff-to-student ratio of 1:8.   

    Students will bring their own devices, which are familiar to them with the Y providing Wi-Fi and academic support. As a facility which historically sees hundreds of visitors a day – many streaming shows while working out – we know a thing or two about bandwidth. 
     
  2. Physical and Social Activities

    YMCA amenities cannot be beat - gymnasiums, playgrounds, athletic fields and more! Students at Learning Centers will enjoy what the YMCA has to offer and a chance to expend all of their energy in a safe and structured environment. 
     
  3. Safety

    Our YMCAs were approved for emergency childcare in March and have safely hosted more than 1,000 children across seven locations through our camp and childcare offerings since early June.

    We take safety seriously and are proud of this record. We are meeting or exceeding health and safety guidelines from the CDC, Department of Human Services, Chester County Health Department, American Academy of Pediatricians and the Pennsylvania Board of Health.

    You can view our detailed health and safety plan on our website – but rest assured that stable groups, temperature and health checks, car-line drop off and pick up, disinfecting, staff training and mask policies are in place and fully enforced. 
     
  4. Cost 

    We know that families were not prepared for this additional expense. We’ve priced our program affordably while ensuring we could keep the highest safety standards and recruit quality individuals with educational backgrounds to staff our learning centers. 

    Sibling discounts are available to families with children enrolled in our childcare or Learning Center programs. 

    Additionally, financial assistance is available. As a non-profit organization we are actively seeking additional funding to expand financial assistance to families who need it. 
     
  5. Convenience 

    As you evaluate how to tighten your social circles and activities to reduce chances of exposure, the YMCA offers families the opportunity to find multiple activities under one roof. This includes:
  • Childcare options for younger siblings (infant and toddler care, preschool, Montessori, an accredited kindergarten program and more) – all with car line drop off and pick up. 
     
  • Private or semi-private swimming lessons with options to participate in lessons with friends or classmates. 

Full day care is available at seven locations across Chester County from 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM with an after care option available until 6 PM. Families interested in enrolling in Learning Centers can contact the branch director where they wish to register.

Questions regarding billing can be sent to childcareadmin@ymcagbw.org or 610-643-9622 ext. 2190.

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