Missoula YMCA

MISSOULA - The Missoula Family YMCA is expanding its out-of-school programs to better support families during Missoula County Public Schools' phased reopening.

“Families in our community continue to face uncertainty and increased financial burdens as they navigate schools reopening,” said Heather Foster, Missoula Family YMCA CEO. “We’re committed to alleviating some of these burdens by supporting both families and schools at every stage of MCPS’ phased reopening.”

The Y recently received federal grant funding through the CARES Act that will allow it to increase program offerings and decrease enrollment costs. Enrollment rates are being reduced up to 50 percent for all families between Oct. 5 and Dec. 31, 2020. The Y is also offering additional barrier-free financial assistance for out-of-school programs.

The Y’s current out-of-school programs include before-school care (Hellgate), after-school care (Chief Charlo, Hellgate, Paxson and Russell) and full-day enrichment (all students in grades K-6). Additional after-school programs serving Franklin and Lewis & Clark will begin in mid-October.

“This is a challenging time for families. To help out, we’ve expanded our financial assistance program and have created a barrier-free application,” said Foster. “Families seeking assistance for YMCA childcare should contact us at 721-9622.”

For parents like Stephanie Rollins, the Y’s out-of-school programs have been lifesavers.

“I’m a kindergarten teacher at Franklin. I also have a 9-year-old son who needs care while I’m at work,” said Rollins. “My son’s been enrolled in Y programs since school started and we’ve been so impressed. He gets his homework done, has time to play outside and is able to safely socialize with kids his age.”

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