Baton Rouge YMCA offers ‘day camp’ for children of medical workers

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Many medical professionals are spending less time with their families amid the coronavirus fight. But one organization is lending them some peace of mind.

The Baton Rouge YMCA, while closed to the public since the pandemic spread nationwide last month, is offering a day camp for children of doctors, nurses, emergency responders and other hospital workers.

“They have enough stress going on, probably enough of their own anxiety going to work everyday,” said Christian Engle, who oversees YMCA of the Capital Area. “Knowing their child is being taken care of and having a good time helps them get through that day.”

The day starts with a temperature check, to ensure the children and whoever brings them do not have fevers. Indoor and outdoor play follow, with equipment cleaned and hands washed at least every 30 minutes. Counselors provide crafts, two snacks, a lunch, homework help and social distance — with only a handful of kids per group.

“Our focus is to make sure their day-to-day is as normal as it can be,” Engle said.

Other YMCA centers are running similar childcare services nationwide. In East Baton Rouge Parish, only the Paula G. Manship YMCA and the Americana YMCA are offering the program. Engle said he may extend child care to nearby YMCA locations if demand grows.

The service costs $50 a week per child, though some bosses are footing the charge. Interested parents should consult their employer’s human resources office.

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