INDEPENDENCE — The Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties will provide child care at two sites owned by the Central School District.

They will offer all-day care from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the week of the March 16 at Henry Hill, said Brandon Lemon, VP of operations at the Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties.

"We are opening capacity to 40 people right now," Lemon said. "We feel that is a good capacity to keep staff and kids safe, but will look to expand if we have the opportunity.  We will have extra spots if anyone outside of the YMCA is in need." 

The Central CDC will operate normal hours, he said.
"Our center is advising that families keep (their) child home if (they) have a family member who is of 'high risk,'" Lemon said. 
At both sites, workers will do more cleaning of the facility and toys than normal.
The Y also added a temporary amendment to its health policy that states "staff and children will be asked to stay home if they show signs of coughing, fever, or shortness of breath."
Children and staff may return to the center upon receiving a doctor's note or are symptom-free (without the aid of treatment or medication) for 24 hours or more, Lemon said.
"Moreover, our staff are to do a daily health check of arriving children to identify any children who may have a cough or fever," he said.

Cec Koontz, Central School District director of operations and finance, sent out a press release Saturday afternoon.

"Central School District received word late Friday from the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education that child care facilities are being urged to remain open to provide critically-needed care for families during this challenging time," Koontz said.

The Child Development Center, at 16th and Monmouth Streets across from the high school. Serving school and community members, this site will continue to serve infants and toddlers.

Henry Hill Education Service Center, 750 S. Fifth St., Independence - Service is typically provided before school and after school, along with full-day service when students are not in classes.

"Programming is isolated in a separate building from the main center which houses district offices, the Central High School alternative education program, community services for youth, the public maker space Stream Lab, and many gatherings," she said. "Based on guidance from the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education, the district will allow the YMCA to continue, and to expand its capacity, if able, to serve families during this closure. This includes the planned spring break mini-camp run by the Y."

Lemon said the planned spring break camp is still in place for the Henry Hill site. 

"District administration will monitor that enrollment is limited in such a way to provide adequate social distancing, as well as supervision; that Y staff strictly monitors for, and limits access to, anyone exhibiting signs of illness; and that Y staff works with Central’s custodian to intensify its cleaning efforts," Koontz said. "While this limited action in no way mitigates the hardship placed on working families by our forced unplanned school closure, we are pleased to be able to work with our partner to provide as much continuity and service as possible."

"We are happy to be here for our community," Lemon said.

Cec Koontz, Central School District Director of Operations and Finance

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