YMCAs across New Jersey to open child care centers to help essential workers with children at home

YMCAs across New Jersey are opening child care centers to help if you're an essential worker with children at home.
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There are 12 YMCAs in the state that have qualified for a special license under Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to take in children.
On Monday, the five empty classrooms inside the YMCA on Oak Tree Road in Edison will again come alive with the sound of children from as young as 6 months to 12 years old. As of now, 25 children are signed up.
"We have room for 50, with social distancing and the fact that we know we have to keep the children separated and segregated," says Rose Cushing, president of the Edison YMCA.
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The last time the classroom saw kids inside was back on March 16, the day the YMCA had to shut down. But starting Monday, the children of essential workers will be back inside.

To help out with social distancing, they will be separated into groups of 10 among five different classrooms.
"We will have hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, whatever the CDC and state is recommending, we'll be providing," says Cindy Shields, YMCA director of childcare.
Shields says the YMCA had to furlough 500 employees.
"We are hoping to engage 25-30 staff back so that we are not doing super long days and everyone can get breaks," says Shields.
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Shields says child care is not just for members, but any parent who may be a police officer, EMT, or grocery store clerk or any other essential worker.
The parents will need to prove they're essential, their children will have their temperature taken before they go inside, and parents won't be allowed past the front door at drop off.
Gov. Murphy put out a call for child care centers to take part under his executive order, and families can apply for state aid to pay for it.
The staff at the YMCA is ready to go.
"We are going to do whatever our community is calling us to do,” says Cushing.
The YMCA system has 11 sites in Middlesex County, and serves 1,000 children per day, making them the largest child care provider in the county.