Child Care in an Uncertain Future

By Kimberly Chaney, Endowment Development Committee member

Markus Spiske NctO2nqkWCY Unsplash

As the largest childcare provider in Frederick County, the YMCA knows a thing or two about planning for care.  But the current pandemic has made the planning process for childcare – which includes matching resources available, with the services most needed at that time – is even more complicated than normal.

Sara Robertson-Ryan, the Y’s Vice President of Youth Development, says the Y has already had to pivot to adjust to regulatory and common-sense practices, and she anticipates more adjusting in the weeks to come.  Typically, July and early August would be spent getting prepared for the fall childcare season – to include early child care as well as school-aged care.  

This year both types of care look very different than they’ve looked in the past.

In a typical year, the Y provides care for approximately 750 youth; with the state of Maryland requirements in place now, that availability reduces to about 200 children.  This reduction is due to limitations on the number of people that can share a given space and a reduction in the individual spaces available for care.  Most of the before and after school care was previously provided in school buildings; at the time we wrote this article it was unclear if the schools would be open for this purpose at all.  

One thing that does stay the same, however, is the Y’s commitment to making services available to all persons, regardless of their ability to pay.  In the past, scholarship money was available to those who cannot pay; in these challenging times, the availability of that scholarship money becomes even more important than ever.  Through the generous gifts of our prior and current donors, we have been able to provide scholarships for childcare; and even though the capacity has been reduced, we plan for the need to be greater than it has been in the past and we are hopeful that our generous donors will continue to provide support for scholarships in our child care program.  

Should you or a loved one be interested in learning more about giving options at the YMCA of Frederick County, please contact Tom Clingman at (301)663-5131 or

OUR MISSION: To Put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.