Summer child care options for local families

Summer child care options for local families

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - With many summer camps and school programs canceled this summer, Tri-State families are scrambling to find child care.

Good news for parents - there are still a few options.

YMCA OF SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA

The YMCA of Southwestern Indiana started its Summer Day Camp on Tuesday, providing educational child care at six different sites from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Leaders say temperature checks are given daily and campers must follow a very strict hand-washing schedule throughout the day.

Even though this year’s campers won’t be going on any field trips, leaders say their summer schedule is full.

“We’ve incorporated a lot more academic and activity at the sites themselves," Lisa Verkamp, Marketing Director for the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana said. "So a lot more reading time, a lot more STEM activities. Just a lot more learning in general, whether that’s through crafts or art. We want to make sure people know they have a safe alternative for their kids to continue learning and to be active this summer.”

The YMCA Summer Day Camp serves children ages 5-12. Click here for more information and to register.

CAMP 31

Laura Barnett, a mother of two children, is working from home this summer, as well as juggling child care closures.

“It has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride for sure," Barnett said. “Working from home is way different than working in the office, especially with kiddos around.”

Barnett’s two sons, Cooper and Carson, would have attended the summer camp at Good Shepherd Catholic School this year. Once the camp was officially canceled in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she suddenly had to worry about juggling work and child care, similar to many other parents.

However, Barnett’s worries went away after Mark Schuler, a 24-year camp director at Good Shepherd, stepped in and decided to start a camp of his own.

“I’ve had a dream for several years to do this on my own," Schuler, owner and manager of Camp 31 said. "Just reaching out and providing assistance to help a need that I do believe in my heart that families need.”

Camp 31 is a summer child care service for students from pre-K to 6th grade. It will be held at Showplace Cinema South in Evansville.

“It was a relief for sure," Barnett said. “It did put me at a peace of mind, to just try to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Schuler and his team of counselors and teachers have a combined 76 years of camping experience, but this year’s camp is different. They’ve spent the last few days deep cleaning and putting COVID-19 guidelines in place.

“It’s really a lot of things going on at once," Schuler said. "I’ve very much learned to know that you’ve got to be a multi-tasker.”

Barnett says she's at peace knowing she has a fun and safe place to send her boys.

“It makes me feel so comfortable," Barnett said. "Camp 31 is going to be a safe place.”

Schuler says the goal is to have between 50 and 80 campers each session, and there is still time to register.

Interested parents can email Mark Schuler at Camp31LLC@gmail.com.

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