Local day care programs prepare to ramp up services for school-aged students who are learning virtually

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LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB)–Inside the Imagination Station in Lancaster kids are letting loose and getting creative with hands-on art projects and other activities.

The child care facility has been open during the entire pandemic and now that school is starting-up they’ve added new programming to help with parents whose kids learning virtually.

“All of our families are really working families, so that’s why they utilize us,” said Kelly Krombeck president and CEO of the Imagination Station Child Care & PreSchool. “So the greatest challenge that they’re really facing is the learning experience that they’re children are going to have outside of school, and how they’re going to provide that.”

The new school-age program, that’s kids 5 to 12, is modeled after a traditional classroom experience there’s instruction time, literacy lessons, gym, art, and time set aside for the specific learning needs of each student.

“We’re also are getting help from our families. We’re soliciting a full sheet of information on each child, that’s going to tell us if they’re doing e-learning, online learning, zoom classes all are really different and every district is doing something different,” said Krombeck.

Like the Imagination Station, the YMCA Buffalo Niagara offers before school, after school, and off-day services for school-aged kids. And, they’re also planning to offer even more services now that kids could be remote learning part of the week.

The YMCA serves about 20 school districts across Western New York. Officials say they plan to add full-day services, providing access to WIFI, and other accommodations for remote learning.

“Many school districts understand how important childcare is going to be this school year, with the hybrid model so they’re talking to us as much about how can you help our parents as we talking to them about how can you help us help your parents,” said Penny Snell, vice president of program quality and innovation YMCA.

As far as cost the added day of care at these facilities is not paid for by the districts. Parents have to foot the bill. If parents need assistance with paying for daycare the county offers supplemental programs.

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