Childcare needed at summer day camps as parents go back to work in Springfield

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 7:45 PM CDT
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Summer at the Springfield YMCA can mean a lot of kids, but this year, the phrase "at capacity" is reaching a whole new level.

"COVID has really limited the number of children we are able to serve because of social distancing and stuff like that," said Kelley Keim.

Families are on waitlists, with capacity limited to 120 instead of 200. Many parents finally getting back to work means they're desperate for summer childcare.

"We had space available some weeks, but not all the weeks they were wanting to attend," said Keim.

In the city of Springfield, day camps with a primary role of child care are capped at just 25 kids.

"The county is recommending that each child has their own space, that we are not sharing toys, that the kids are in their own space, and groups are not intermixing int that area just to limit any cross-contamination as possible," said Keim.

And while health officials have decided to remain in phase three until at least July 15, camps will still be under limitations in phase 4.

"We have looked at the data and 3.5% percent of our cases in the month of May were contributed to community spread, in the month of the June it was up to 18% that's a market increase and that tells me there has been a change in our community, we can't rush back to normalcy we are not done with this journey, we are not done with our fight with COVID 19," said Springfield Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard.

With summer school starting in July, Kelley Keim with the YMCA thought more kids would be dropping out of the day camp, but numbers have remained steady.

"We have lost a few kiddos, and so we are able to bring those kids on from the waiting list, but definitely not seeing anything as we have seen in the last few years," said Keim.

Keim says they are also keeping up with safety measures such as temperature checks and extreme sanitation practices.