Parent Guide to Child Care

As Virginia's leading provider of child care, we're committed to providing safe, healthy and fun programming for your child before and after school.

In our Parent Guide to Child Care, you'll find all you need to know about what we offer, our staff, transportation and more.

Group Sizes and Dynamics

  • Children will be grouped into cohorts that limit the contact between other groups.
  • Group sizes will meet ratios set forth by state licensing. 
  • Group gatherings will remain under the recommended capacity set forth by the state.
  • Children will be encouraged to social distance and use proper hand hygiene (thorough hand washing and hand sanitizing). 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Equipment and touch points will be wiped down on a regular basis throughout the day.  This includes bathroom areas, playgrounds, and additional hard surfaces.
  • It is recommended that childcare sites limit the use of equipment/supplies that are passed around from student to student. These items will be cleaned more frequently if used. 

Daily Health Screenings

  • Each morning, staff will do a verbal health screening and ask if the camper has exhibited any symptoms of COVID or been exposed to COVID in the last two weeks.
  • During the day, if campers/staff have temperatures above 100, they will be asked to leave and must be 72 hours fever free before returning to camp.

Positive COVID-19 Protocol

  • Campers and/or staff that show symptoms will be separated from their huddle and evaluated.
  • In the event of possible exposure, contact tracing will be performed and parents will be notified via email and/or phone.   
  • Campers and staff that live with COVID positive family members must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to camp.  This is part of the daily screening for our childcare programs.

Outdoor Activities and Playgrounds

  • Outdoor activities are highly encouraged and site directors have been working diligently to plan accordingly.
  • Equipment and touch points will be wiped down on a regular basis throughout the day. 

Refund and Cancellations

  • In the event families need to cancel due to COVID-19, the Y is happy to refund any and all deposits, registration fees and weekly tuition paid. All other cancellations or changes should be done two weeks prior to the camper’s registered week. For any changes to your childcare registration, please contact our YMCA admin team.

Face Coverings

  • Staff and students will be required to wear masks while in our childcare program.  Students will be able to remove their masks while eating, drinking, swimming, and/or participating in physical activities (running, climbing, sports, etc.).
  • All students will be required to wear a mask if the YMCA is transporting them to or from the childcare site
  • This is subject to change following Dept of Social Services recommendations.

YMCA Transportation

  • Students must wear a mask while on the YMCA bus.  Siblings can ride on the same seat together.  Buses will be cleaned with recommended disinfectant and cleaner regularly.


Child Care Activities

Homework Support
Gaga Ball
Creative Arts

Character Development
Fitness Fun
Leadership Development
Enrichment Programming


A Youth Development program is only as good as its staff. Expect excellence at YMCA Before/After School programs. Our well-seasoned and well-trained counselors mentor and care for your child. Site leadership, counselors, and enrichment teachers are required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of pre-childcare training including, but not limited to youth and adult CPR, First Aid, AED, Child Abuse Prevention, and Daily Health Observation. We conduct background checks and drug screenings on all employees as mandated by state licensing. We train our counselors and staff in conflict resolution techniques and encourage students to be inclusive of all and celebrate our differences.


As much as staff teach responsibility and remind students to take care of their belongings, we do ask that parents/guardians label all belongings with your student’s name on them. This will help us to identify lost items. Here are some items to bring:

What to bring

  • Backpack
  • Chromebook, Laptop, and iPad/tablet if needed for school
  • Basic school supplies to complete homework
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Recommend two masks (one for backup)

What to wear

  • Dress for the weather — we like to get outside so please pack a jacket when needed
  • We follow all school dress codes (if any) for the schools that we serve

What Not to Bring

Counselors will give any of the following items to directors if they are brought to camp. These personal belongings will be returned to campers’ parents during evening pick-up. Please leave these items at home:

  • Toys, radios, iPods/mp3 players, and cellular phones do not fit into this setting
  • Firearms, fireworks, knives, matches, lighters, tobacco products and illegal drugs (all over-the-counter medication must be submitted to camp staff with the correct forms)
  • Expensive items, money, and trading cards at home


All of our childcare sites and schools at each YMCA location open at 7 a.m. for parent drop-off and close at 6 p.m.

  • When dropping your student off at your childcare site location, our Rides In process makes it easy for parents to sign in their child, and be on their way. There is no need to park or get out of your car unless directed to do so.
  • During Rides Out (pick up), only adults that are listed on the approved pick up list for your child and present correct identification may be allowed to sign out a student from a school site or YMCA campus.
  • If your child is located at a Before/After school site, then Arrival/Departure locations may change based on school activities.  Site leadership will communicate with families.


Whenever the Y transports children, the Y takes every precaution to ensure your child’s safety. Children must follow the below Y basic safety rules while being transported. Our Y drivers are instructed to: load and unload the children only when the vehicle is pulled up to a curb, the side of the road, or in a driveway; to not discipline and drive at the same time; and take precautions to never leave a child alone in a vehicle. In order to reduce paperwork and waste, the electronically signed Youth Enrichment Program registration authorizes the Y to take your child on all field trips for the school year and summer, with notice. You have the right to refuse permission for your child to go on a particular field trip. Just let us know in a timely fashion.

See “COVID-19 Updates” for more on COVID-19 specific procedures. 


We maintain a direct staff to child ratio that meets or exceeds licensing standards, currently with a staff to child ratio of 1:13 with groups no larger than 18.


As part of your weekly tuition the 2 or 3 hour early release days and student holidays or accounted for.

For early release days, if your child is attending a YMCA school site, then they will stay at the school and we will operate regular programming.  A student that attend their local Y will be transported to that location for regular programming.

Student Holidays, your student’s school will be assigned a local YMCA to attend.  This will be assigned to you upon registration and it should be your local YMCA.

Eligibility Criteria

YMCA Childcare programs offer a safe and fun-learning experience. Our trained and certified staff work with our students (within licensing standards). YMCA staff builds relationships, fosters a sense of belonging and creates opportunities for our students to achieve and learn.  We offer a wide range of engaging activities, homework support daily, as well as character development. Every week is programmed with an educational focus and opportunities for FUN.

At the Y, we consider the needs of each child to promote success and provide a positive Before/After School experience. Disclosure of special needs will not bar participation. Let us know when you register if your child is developmentally, emotionally, or physically challenged or requires another type of assistance. YMCA camp allows students 8th grade and younger to participate. Refer to the program registration for permissible ages for each respective childcare site.

YMCA Student Behavior Requirements

Children are expected to display appropriate behavior at all times. To assure the maximum enjoyment of the program by all participants, please review the following guidelines with your child.

Campers will:

  • Exhibit individual and group behavior that models our Core Values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility and that doesn’t disrupt the flow of teaching and learning
  • Stay with the group/class
  • Be pleasant to others and refrain from using foul language
  • Refrain from putting themselves and others in danger
  • Use equipment, supplies, and facilities as instructed
  • Have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual direction.

Personal Needs

  • Is able to manage all personal hygiene

Motor Needs

  • Is able to ambulate on own or with a mechanical device in varied terrains, including, sloped and uneven ground.
  • Is able to perform gross motor functions and fine motor functions with reasonable guidance