We are offering an Essential Services Child Care Program in Penticton. To indicate your need for care, complete this survey

Our charity is responding to COVID-19 including temporarily closing all YMCA recreation facilities during this time. Child care, virtual early years community services and career development services will continue to run. The most recent information can be found at ymcaokanagan.ca/COVID19

It is our understanding the Minister of Child Care is working on the details regarding funding for such requests to better financially support the families and to help ensure you do not lose your child care registration spot. We are committed to supporting our families in this manner.

At this time, we are awaiting further direction on how to administer the child care funding that is available to families based on the updates that are provided by the Ministry of Children and Families.

We intend to follow their direction and will administer the payments as we receive further instruction and clarification as to what the entails for each family.

At this time, please see this article from BC Gov News as this is the latest and only information we have received so far. For now we are in a holding pattern based on the information we have received.

The YMCA of Okanagan trusts the guidance of the BC Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer and will follow their direction. We have implemented protocols to ensure a safe and healthy environment for children and staff. Further, we recognize that child care is an essential service for those who must work such as those in health care and emergency services.

For the safety of our children, families and staff, we will do the following:

For children & families:

  • We are screening children when they arrive daily.
  • All families are asked to complete a Health Declaration Form at drop-off/sign-in each day until further notice. If parents or caregivers say yes to any of the questions, the child cannot participate in the program. The Declaration Form asks:
    • Has your child or anyone in your household had any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days? (Fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath)
    • Has your child or anyone in your household knowingly come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? (Please note that we appreciate that health care workers apply additional protective measures in their workplace and as such, this question most likely will not apply)
    • Has your child or anyone in your household travelled in the last 14 days outside Canada?
  • Children cannot attend the program for 14 days if they:
    • Knowingly have been in direct contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19;
    • Have travelled outside Canada;
    • If anyone in the household has come in contact with someone who has taken a positive COVID-19 test or been asked to self-isolate based on Public Health.
  • Staff will request permission to take the temperature of children prior to sign in each day with a quick scan thermometer. If parents/guardians don’t consent, the child cannot participate in the program. If the child has a fever of 38.5 degrees Celsius or higher, they cannot participate in the program.
  • If anyone develops symptoms of any illness or has a fever during a program, they will be sent home on a case-by-base basis.
  • Social distancing has been implemented within our facilities as much as possible when working with children by using small groups and implementing a primary care person who is responsible for providing care to the same small group of children throughout their care with us during this time.
  • Staff are also following the additional preventative measures which include:
    • Instead of our usual self serve, family style snack, children will be provided with individual snack portions.
    • As always, we will continue to discourage sharing food from home or sharing of snacks among the children and ask you to carefully wash and sanitize all food containers sent to program.
    • Staff have increased all sanitization routines for surfaces and equipment and have also been informed that our facilities/janitorial teams have increased their regular cleaning of the facilities.
  • We are following proper handwashing etiquette and respiratory practices as outlined by the Ministry of Health guidelines
    • To promote good hand hygiene children and adults should clean their hands:
      • before leaving home and on arrival at child care programs. If you are dropping off your child, please help them wash their hands for 20 seconds using soap and water prior to accessing toys and equipment.
      • after using the toilet
      • after breaks and physical activities
      • before eating any food, including snacks
      • before leaving the child care program. When picking up your child, you are welcome to use our handwashing facilities
    • Respiratory etiquette in childcare settings includes covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene.

For YMCA Okanagan staff:

  • Staff are also health screened and complete a Health Declaration Form. They are not permitted to attend work at any time when they are ill or exhibit any symptoms of any illness. This applies at all times as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Staff are not permitted to travel outside Canada on YMCA business. If a staff member travels outside Canada for personal purposes, they are required to self isolate for 14 days.
  • Staff are not permitted to attend work gatherings of 50 or more.
  • Staff are recommended not to attend personal gatherings or events of 50 people or more.
  • Staff are not permitted to attend work for 14 days if they:
    • Knowingly have been in direct contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19;
    • Have travelled outside Canada; or
    • Anyone in their household has come in contact with someone who has taken a positive COVID-19 test

YMCA Early Years Child Care centres remain open at this time and include:

  • KSS Early Learning Centre
  • Little Scholars Early Learning Centre
  • Queens Park Early Learning Centre

YMCA Before and After School Care programs will close effective immediately and all payments are placed on hold. Your child’s spot is secure and will be available to you should the school district resume in-class instruction. More information will be provided at that time regarding billing and options.

YMCA Traditional Preschool Programs located in schools will be closed effective immediately as they are not deemed an essential service and all payments will be placed on hold. Your child’s spot is secure and will be available to you should in-class facilitation resume. This includes:

  • Glenrosa Elementary Preschool
  • Kelowna Family Y Preschool

Little Scholars Preschool and extended day early learning will remain open, as many families relay on this as a flexible child care option and may need it as an essential service for those who remain working.

The YMCA of Okanagan is working on the potential of weekly full-time child care options, provided the Minister of Health continues to indicate that child care is safe to operate and we have access to school sites. These weekly registrations are open to those families who are working and require essential services and support during this time.

We are working on the locations, times and the date that we can offer this service. We will get this information out as soon as possible.

No, we will not be taking payments until services resume. In the event that services resume, we will notify all families when payments will begin and how that will be administrated at that time.

No, we are placing all current registrations on hold. This will allow you to keep your spot and have access to it should we resume services prior to June 30, 2020.

We understand that some families have received lay off notices or may now be working from home. If you would like to withdraw, please contact childcare@ymcaokanagan.ca (even if you have previously requested a withdrawal earlier this week; they are not being actioned, as we feel you may want to reconsider knowing we are placing care payments on hold).

We are hopeful that we can provide these families with a modified program for children at George Pringle Elementary school who are currently enrolled. As more details are provided from the Ministry of Health and from School District#23, we will notify families accordingly.

Summer Camp Registration

At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to operate our amazing licensed summer camp options at Mission Creek Alliance Church. Registration is now open for summer camp. Current families have priority until April 1 when registration opens to the public.

Contact childcare@ymcaokanagan.ca to learn more or register.

Fall Before and After School Care

Fall registration for September 2020 will open April 14, 2020 for current families and will open to the public on April 27. Contact childcare@ymcaokanagan.ca to complete your registration for Fall 2020.