WATERTOWN — The Watertown Family YMCA, in collaboration with Jefferson County, school district leaders and healthcare providers, will open restricted emergency childcare sites in Jefferson County.

“Childcare is one of the major concerns of the community as we move through this critical stage battling COVID 19,” said Scott Gray, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. “It is necessary to keep workers in the health and public safety sectors available to meet the needs of the residents of our community. I commend the YMCA, CAPC, BOCES and our public-school system for their creative thinking outside the boundaries of traditional delivery service models to meet the demand for services.”

Only children of workers in healthcare, emergency services and other essential personnel are eligible to participate in the Y’s emergency childcare program.

Emergency childcare will be provided at ten different sites for children of school age, and at the YMCA Daycare in Watertown for daycare aged children.

“The YMCA is here to serve the community wherever we are needed and stand ready to find ways to assist,” said Denise Young, CEO Watertown Family YMCA. “Our extraordinary workforce is uniquely prepared to care for children and families during challenging times.”

Space is limited as critical procedures from the CDC, the state Office of Children and Families and Public Health guidance for screening, distancing and disinfecting for childcare settings will be followed.

“This innovative partnership between the county, the YMCA and area public schools is a testament to the north country commitment to collaboration, practicality, and sharing of resources,” added Steve Todd, District Superintendent of the Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES. “Together we will work tirelessly to meet the needs of our children, our families and our communities.”

Registration is on a need prioritized first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. To register, contact the YMCA at 315-755-2005 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The YMCA is in constant contact with state and local health and emergency response authorities and will adjust its services as needed or required.

All other on-site YMCA programs and activities will remain closed in line with guidance received from state and federal authorities, but the YMCA website watertownymca.org is offering linked Y360 classes and other classes for members and the community to keep up with their health while social distancing from home. The date of reopening of facilities will depend on governmental guidance.

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