South Mountain YMCA Loses, Then Regains, Space for After-School Daycare at Tuscan

by Bruno J. Navarro
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Two weeks after a preschool daycare program was abruptly canceled due to the resumption of in-school instruction for South Orange and Maplewood students, only to be restored the following week, another group of parents at Tuscan Elementary School experienced a similar set of conflicting developments.

“This afternoon it was brought to our attention from the school, that we are not able to have After-Care at Tuscan, once the school day ends,” the South Mountain YMCA wrote to parents on Monday, Jan. 18, one day before certain students were allowed back in school buildings for the first time since they closed amid the spread of COVID-19 more than 10 months ago. “We are deeply sorry that you are receiving this information at this time of evening. Our executive leadership is aware and intends to work with the district to find a solution. Providing quality care is our priority.”

The Village Green reached out to the South Orange-Maplewood School District for comment.

“We have alleviated the concern,” school district spokesperson Anide Eustache said via email, adding that “the Y will be communicating to the impacted families shortly.”

Less than 24 hours after its initial announcement, the South Mountain YMCA notified parents of the good news.

“We are looking forward to seeing all of you all soon,” it wrote in an email update. “While some parts of our day will look different, our health and safety practices will continue to remain the same. Our team is dedicated to child and staff safety, and will still implement the enhanced health and safety practices that worked so well for us throughout the school year.”

Two weeks ago, families participating in preschool program at the Montrose Early Childhood Center were told that the school district needed the classroom space for its hybrid education plan, effectively slashing their child care from five days a week to two. Parents asked the school district to restore the program, and a week later the YMCA announced that it had found suitable classroom space.

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