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Rachel Goodman picks up her daughters from a YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region childcare center in April.

YWCA El Paso del Norte will operate two summer care programs and open its four operating childcare centers to all children up to age 12.

The YWCA childcare centers were previously only open to families of essential workers after businesses shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“YWCA programs have been open throughout the pandemic, so our staff is well-versed in health and safety measures,” Diana Hastings, YWCA senior programs administrator, said in a statement. “We will continue following CDC, state, city and all other guidelines regarding social distancing, reduced ratios, masks, and more to provide as safe an environment as possible.”

YWCA CEO Sylvia Acosta previously told El Paso Inc. that about half of the city’s 400 childcare centers closed after the state mandated that they be open only to children of essential workers and at a smaller ratio of children per caretaker. Those that remained open were operating at about 50% capacity, she said.

“Now, with businesses and other organizations reopening, more and more people will require childcare,” Acosta said in a statement. “YWCA is proud to offer these vital programs that will keep children active and learning in a safe environment.”

The YWCA shut down three of its centers, leaving four others open for about 200 children of essential workers – less than half the enrollment prior to the pandemic.

The YWCA offers childcare services through its early larning academies and also manages Child Care Services, the program that subsidizes childcare for low-income families.

The YWCA childcare sites open include the Joyce W. Jaynes Branch in Central; the Dorothy Woodley Hunt Branch and Valle Verde Early Learning Academy in the Lower Valley; and the Shirley Leavell Branch on the Eastside.

Two summer care programs – at Shirley Leavell for children ages 4 to 12, and on the Westside at the Mary Ann Dodson Camp for children ages 6 to 12 – will open June 1.

The camps offer STEAM-based programs where students engage in math games, science and engineering projects, playtime, creative projects, swimming and other activities. Meals and snacks are provided.

Information: 915-519-0000; ywcaelpaso.org.

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