YMCA has childcare programs in Greencastle

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
These children attend School’s Out Club and also the after school group. Pictured, from left, front row: Madi Yates, Kaden Yates, Jackson Butler. Back row: Addie Bloyer, Corinne Dean, Elayna Hamm.

School is closed on a weekday, but parents still have to work. What’s a kid to do?

Waynesboro Area YMCA has an answer for children grades K-5 in the Greencastle-Antrim School District. School’s Out Club offers child care from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on days school is not in session, due to holiday breaks, winter break and teacher inservices.

Because of inclement weather make-up days, only one date remains for the School’s Out Club for the balance of the current school year. Anyone needing care on April 6 should register 48 hours in advance. The program is held at First Assembly of God Church across the street from the elementary school.

YMCA Child Care Director Tanja Koons would like more children to attend. If at least eight are not enrolled, the club is held at the Y, which is not very convenient for the parents.

“We are lucky to meet the minimum number,” she said. “We are trying to expand the program to do more in Greencastle.”

In operation about five years, School’s Out Club offers field trips, games, crafts, movies, swimming, outside play and free time.

“Just fun stuff,” said site director Diana Johnson.

The Y provides snacks and the participants bring their own lunch. Most activities take place in the auditorium of the church.

A brother and sister enjoy the days at School’s Out Club. Kaden Yates, 9, likes playing hide and seek in the dark, as well as kickball and basketball.

Madi, 10, added, “We really have free roam of what we want to do, like playing with my friends.”

Johnson watched the kids develop good friendships with those younger or older. The ages mixed well, an opportunity not readily available in a school setting, she said.

Other programs

Waynesboro YMCA also offers the Before School Care Club daily from 6:30 a.m. until the start of school, and the After School Care Club daily from the end of school until 6 p.m. The latter also has homework assistance.

Johnson is in charge of all three clubs.

“It’s a joy to watch them learn and grow and just be kids,” she said. “And parents love it, that it’s in Greencastle.”

The children are bussed back and forth from the primary and elementary schools, and the daily clubs have enrollment from 18 to 36. More students are welcome.

“We are trying to meet the needs of parents,” said Koons.

Anyone interested in any of the programs should call the YMCA at 762-6012.