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Quad Cities YMCAs keep daycare open as parents struggle to find childcare

Despite closing most of their facilities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, YMCAs across the Quad Cities are keeping daycare facilities open for now.

MOLINE, Ill — The Two Rivers YMCA in Moline and Scott County YMCA, are keeping their licensed daycare centers open, despite having closed the rest of the facilities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"On Monday night at 10 p.m., at our regular closing time, we closed our YMCA for our regular programming, and all of our fitness programming. We do have two programs at the time. We are still running our licensed preschool and our emergency School’s Out Club, which is our elementary age kids," said Anika Martin, Community Relations Director at the Two Rivers YMCA Community Relations Director.

She said while the numbers of parents who brought their preschool kids in has dropped, from 68 to 28 today, the number of elementary kids went from 30 on Monday, when Moline's school district still held class, to 80 today, the first day of the mandated school suspension in Illinois.

Caitlynn Reynolds, a mother of three, and a security guard at Tyson in Hillsdale, said she appreciated the option the YMCA provided. 

Her 6-year-old son has a compromised immune system due to a bone marrow disease. 

"The facilities [here] are open and they’ve been taking the stress of the back of parents, especially working parents or in my case, single parents," she said. 

Martin said the staff is keeping cleanliness and hand washing a priority, while limiting the kids to small groups with 10 or fewer kids. 

"They’ve been washing their hands once every hour, and carrying hand sanitizer around with every group," she said.

"I don't have to worry about this pandemic here at this childcare, which again, I’m a mom, that’s the last thing I want to worry about, because of somewhere that I left him."

Parents don't need to be a member of the YMCA to send their child to daycare or the School's Out program, but they must come in person to register their child.

Martin said she was glad the YMCA could provide this service, but acknowledged that she did not know how long staff here would be able to so. 

"We would like to keep these programs open and available as long as we’re able to," she said.