Caring in Covid

How the Boys and Girls Club plans to keep providing childcare for everyone this school year.

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The staff are determined to continue providing childcare during the time of Covid

Gracie Balkema

        Child Care In Albany.

How the Boys and Girls Club plans to keep providing childcare for everyone this school year.

     Kids have been stuck at home with siblings or parents, and some need time away. The Boys and Girls Club has opened their doors once again to kids of all ages to learn and play all at the same time.

      “We are taking precautions to keep everyone safe. Everyone is required to wear masks at all times. When staff and kids enter the building, they go through a health screening where they get a temperature check, and are asked if they had any symptoms. Kids are also asked to hand wash regularly,” elementary director Baylie Wafer said. If staff had traveled, they are required to have a Covid test and self quarantine for at least 24 hours. 

     To adjust to the new social distancing guidelines set by state officials, the Boys and Girls Club have divided up people into separate groups of 15, based on grade and school schedule. During school hours the kids are divided up in separate rooms at private desks or tables. The club has been working very hard to ensure the safety of the few students who are attending . 

     “We have divided up our facility to fit 150 people in each grade division. Right now we are at about half that,” Wafer said.

     Tables have been set up around the common areas to serve as desks for distance learning. “Students must bring their own laptop to work on, but if one is forgotten a sanitized iPad could be provided.” Staff are always there to tutor and give help to students. Until schools open up again they will be sticking to the 7:30-4:00 schedule.

     “Unfortunately, we are limited to an eight-hour schedule and it might inconvenience parents, but our hands are tied. We follow the state guidelines. When they change those guidelines, we will re-evaluate,” teen center director Scott Withers stated

     Parents paying $75 weekly per kid is much more than the flat rate of $25 per school year. The increased rate covers all of the extensive cleaning as well as the two meals and snacks per day provided. Once the circumstances go back to normal, the price might decrease again. While costing more per student, the club isn’t making money. They are constantly in debt. The Boys and Girls Club is a non-profit organization that provides quality childcare at a fraction of the cost. For example the cost of CAP is $775 per month as well as $65 fee per kid per year.

     The BGCA has mainly relied on community donations throughout the years, but now they are dipping into emergency funds. “We have enough money to keep for the rest of the year. The staff higher up have allowed us to dip into emergency funds, but the future looks uncertain,” Withers, said

     The Boys and Girls Club  have adjusted multiple times to fit with the CDC’s guidelines related to the Coronavirus and Covid-19. Throughout the years, the club has provided childcare to kids, and they are not stopping now.