Parent Guide to Childcare


Going off to school is a very exciting experience for students and parents. It's very natural for everyone to be anxious about the first day of school and meeting new friends. Hopefully, the following information will familiarize everyone with childcare procedures and minimize first day" anxiety. Our well-trained staff are focused on meeting the needs of individual students and are committed to serving as excellent role models. 

Suggestions from experienced parents

  • Students are very active during childcare. Please ensure they are dressed appropriately for their time with us for the weather. 
  • Please make sure your student has their personal supplies when they are in childcare.
  • Be sure to let the childcare staff know if your student should be doing their home work on a daily basis in our afterschool program.

What Students Need to be Successful

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 students’s name on them. This will help us to identify lost items. 

What Not to Bring

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

  • Toys, radios, iPods/mp3 players, electronic games, cellular phones, and other electronics 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 childcare staff with the correct forms).
  • Expensive items, money and trading cards

Arrival and Departure

Childcare programs, that provide morning care, open at 7 a.m. All students must be picked up by 6 p.m.

  • If you are driving your student to our childcare site, please park your car and walk your student to the entry door. Students will be checked in at this time.
  • If you are picking your student up from our childcare site, please park your car and walk your student to the site door to sign out your student. At school sites, you may need to call the site phone, site leadership will bring your student to you. The site phone numbers will be given you by your site leadership.

YMCA Transportation

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 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.

General Child Care Schedule

Each childcare site in the YMCA of Greater Richmond develops its own specific schedule based upon the facility, activities and number of students. Times may vary based on school schedules. Here is a general outline of what a schedule looks like: 

Sites with Before Care (only in Chesterfield and Petersburg)

7 - 9 a.m. Rides In/Drop-Off, Group games, activities

9 a.m. Transition to buses or to school

9:15 a.m. school starts

Sites with After School Care

Actual times very based on school and transportation schedule

2 - 6 p.m. General childcare activities, stem, arts-n-craft, snack,homework,BellXcel activities

All sites close by 6 p.m.

Daily Curriculum

During the Before and After School programs students will participate in multiple activities that consist of academics, socialization, and wellness. These are core areas that we feel are vital to students that participate in YMCA programming. We utilize a curriculum designed by BellXcel, to ensure that students are participating in activities that focus on academics, social well-being, and movement.



A childcare program is only as good as its staff. 

Expect excellence at YMCA Childcare programs. Our well-trained counselors mentor and care for your child. Site leadership, counselors and staff are required to complete a minimum of 35 hours of pre-service training including, but not limited to, youth and adult CPR, first aid, AED, child abuse prevention and daily health observation. We conduct background checks on all child care counselors and employees as mandated by state licensing. We train our counselors and staff in conflict resolution techniques and encourage childcare to be inclusive of all and celebrate our differences. 

Staff to Student Ratios

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. 

Medications/Health Center

Medical Records

To ensure good health and ability to enter into normal childcare activities, please ensure that all documents have been uploaded into PlayerSpace. If your student requires medication during the day, please ensure that the following guidelines are met:

  •  An authorization to give medication form must be completed by the parent/guardian.
  •  Medicines must be in original containers, with the child’s name on it.
  •  In case of food allergies, an Allergy Action Plan, signed by a physician, must be submitted to the childcare office.

We have medication administration-trained staff onsite to administer medication based on licensing standards. All medication will be kept in a locked box. Only those Youth Enrichment staff who are certified medication administrators may dispense medications. Please consult the on-site supervisor prior to leaving any medication at the site in order to ensure all Department of Social Services paperwork requirements are met.

Find our Health Forms

Eligibility Criteria

At Childcare, we consider the needs of each child to promote success and provide a positive childcare experience. Let us know when you register if your child has a developmental, emotional or physical disability or requires another type of assistance. Our staff can help you determine activities and experiences appropriate for your child. Refer to program registration for permissible ages for each respective childcare. 

Child  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.

Students 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.
  • 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.
  • Always wear shoes and clothes that conform with the Parent Handbook.

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

Child Abuse Parent Education Guide

At the Y, we ask our parents and guardians to be our partners in child abuse prevention. This Parent Education Guide seeks to equip you to be informed about child abuse and to protect your child from abuse.

View the Guide