As parents continue to work, City of Oswego offering free emergency child care for families

Local News

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As parents continue working, the city of Oswego and local organizations are aiming to ease worries for families by providing emergency child care.

Oswego County went under a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools across the county are also closed.

Through a partnership, the Port City, Oswego YMCA and Little Lukes child care centers are providing free childcare.

“It just made sense for the city to step up and handle the funding for those programs since these two community partners did the right thing and expanded their capability under the gun,” said City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow.

Slots for the child care program are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, priority will be given to those who are first responders, employees in the medical field or those who work for the City of Oswego.

“The idea behind that is that it’s not just somewhere to entertain your kids so they’re not bored while school is not in session. This is a place that people who still need to go to work to provide services to our community, can do that, and we will watch your children while you’re doing that,” said Executive Director of the Oswego YMCA Kerrie Ann Webb.

The program will fund families through at least April 14, when schools are tentatively set to reopen.

Families who are interested in the program are asked to call Little Lukes directly at (315) 342-4600 or the Oswego YMCA at (315) 342-6082.

Students eligible for the program are those in kindergarten through 6th grade.

When they walk through the doors, the first thing they need to do is wash their hands before making their way to any of the activities. Those activities throughout the day are done in smaller groups.

Parents are asked to pack their child a lunch, bring a change of clothes and bring a thermometer, as all students are screened for symptoms each time they walk through the doors.

It’s important to work together because we’re all relying on each other. What city government can’t do, there’s probably a not-for-profit or a local business or organization can provide that. And what private sectors can’t do, I feel city government, state government, federal government, has to step up and provide.

City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow

Barlow tells NewsChannel 9 that each of the school districts in the county are working on a meal distribution plan for students.

The city is also in the process of having employees work from home, and small businesses participating in the commercial loan program will not be required to make payments for the next three months.


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