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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For Hoosier parents whose jobs are deemed “essential,” finding adequate child care while navigating Indiana’s stay-at-home order can be a difficult balancing act.

All of Indiana’s K-12 schools are currently closed until May 1, but child care centers are considered essential businesses and remain open.

Now some organizations are expanding their services to help accommodate parents.

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis is expanding its child care service for essential workers and adding four locations starting Monday, March 30.

The expanded service is in addition to the programs for healthcare and public safety workers that Mayor Joe Hogsett announced last Tuesday. You can find more information about those programs here.

The YMCA requests that only those listed as essential workers use these programs. 

The Y’s program is open to children ages 5-12 Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Officials say the children will be assigned to small groups of no more than 10 children per staffer.

The following locations will offer the services:

Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis

Benjamin Harrison YMCA, 5736 Lee Rd., Indianapolis

Hendricks Regional Health YMCA, 301 Satori Pkwy., Avon

Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay, 430 S. Alabama St., Indianapolis

Jordan YMCA, 8400 Westfield Blvd., Indianapolis

Witham Family YMCA, 2791 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon

Financial assistance is available for any families who may need support for the cost of care. 

“We are taking extraordinary precautions to ensure everyone stays healthy, while at the same time offering essential workers piece of mind, knowing that their children are safe and well cared for,” Derrick Stewart, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis said.

To help facilitate a safe environment, the YMCA has established a number of child safety measures including:

1) Drop-off/pick-up will take place curbside to avoid unnecessary contact.

2) Children will play in small groups of 10 or fewer per one staff person. 3

3) Children will wash their hands upon entering the program daily.

4) Spaces will be sanitized daily.

5) Toys/supplies will remain separated by groups throughout the day.

The Y also requires each child to be fever, and symptom free to attend, and will conduct a screening process as each child is signed in.

For more information on the program you can click here.

Additional families can find childcare options in their area by visiting this website.