Kate L.

YMCA Child Care

As a single mom and a physician assistant caring for high-risk patients, Kate wasn’t sure how to keep working and care for her daughter, Grace, after her school closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Friends helped for the first week, but Kate knew she couldn’t ask them to watch her child for weeks or months on end. She was considering sending Grace to live with her aunt temporarily when she found out the Y was partnering with Tacoma Public Schools to provide free child care to health care providers.

“The YMCA overall has been huge in my ability to work as a single mom and provide care for my daughter while I’m working long hours,” Kate says. “It’s been a wonderful program.”

Grace had been enrolled in the YMCA’s Before and After School program before, but the expansion of the program to full-day care was a godsend, she says. She appreciates that Grace is in a safe place that prioritizes the kids’ health and hygiene, supports their academic development, and also gives them time to have fun and be social.

“[The staff are] going through a stressful time, too, but they always have positive energy. That has helped Grace, but it also helps me, because I know the YMCA staff are taking good care of my kid for 10 hours a day. That’s been incredible. It’s an answer to prayer.”

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