Saturday, December 2, 2023

REC Connect: James City County has a program to help parents with childcare this fall

(WYDaily/Courtesy of JCC Parks and Recreation)

Parents in the James City County area who require a little extra assistance with childcare may get the helping hand they need.

James City County Parks and Recreation announced REC Connect will be operating full-day, consolidated youth programs, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Sept. 8 to Nov. 6.

The programs are open to children ages 5-10 years old, grades kindergarten through fifth. Due to low registration numbers, they are not operating their Middle School Teens On Point program this year.

REC Connect for the fall will run similarly to  the county’s summer program, said April Melton, the county’s REC Connect School Age Programs operations manager. Children can bring their laptops to complete their virtual learning, too.

Depending on the weather, there will also be daily outside play. Other activities include arts and crafts, physical activities, games, and healthy snack making plus virtual learning time.

Parents must provide a lunch for their child.

Upon arrival, children will be placed in groups by age each morning and will remain with the same group throughout the day. Melton said the group numbers will be around 15 at a time, and each group will be monitored by a staff member.

The youth programs will be at Laurel Lane, Matoaka, and Norge Elementary schools. Participants sign-in and check-out is located outside of the program entrance where health screenings will be performed daily upon entry.

There are multiple rules put into place to keep families safe during the pandemic.

Parents must provide ID during pick-up. Parks and Recreation also asks parents to allow extra time for pick-up and drop-off. Staff will be present at the front entrance between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If staff is not present at the time of drop-off or pick-up, parents are asked to call the site phone number.

If a child or staff member has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or any other symptoms relating to COVID-19, then they will not be allowed to return to the program until they are symptom free for at least three days and 10 days have passed since symptoms began.

All participants, including staff members, are required to wear a facemask throughout the day unless when outdoors where social distancing can be maintained or when eating snacks.

Melton said the program’s operating plan is subject to change based on the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools’ operational plan and additional guidelines from Gov. Ralph Northam and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Weekly fees include full-time at $110 per participant for four to five days or part-time $90 per participant for three days or less. There are also several payment options, and discount programs are available for qualified residents based on total income.

Registration is available on a first come, first served basis. Weekly registration may be limited because of the reduced capacity of participants at each site.

Families can register using the 2020-21 REC Connect Registration Form found on the Parks and Recreation website. Families can call 757-259-5351 if they have additional questions.


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