“We are thrilled to be able to extend our before and after-school program to Sparta and offer children in the community a safe place to continue learning, stay active, and become motivated to reach their potential,” said Rob Wiggins, district executive director at the Sussex County YMCA.
"The YMCA stands for a tradition of excellence, among children, teenagers and adults. Having worked with the Y for many years, I am confident the Sparta students will greatly benefit from its nurturing and caring environment,” said Dr. Mike Rossi, Ph.D., superintendent of Sparta Public Schools.
The program will be open to students in the elementary schools throughout the district in grades pre-K to 5. The Y offers convenient scheduling and affordable care for working parents, with the before care program starting at 7 a.m. at Mohawk Avenue School, and 7:30 a.m. at Alpine Elementary and Helen Morgan schools, and after school care ending at 6 p.m. for all schools. After care will be located at Mohawk Avenue School. All students enrolled in after care programs will be transported by school district buses to Mohawk.
Families can choose between three and five days a week. Discounts are offered for families with more than one child in the program, as well as school district employees. The Y also offers financial assistance to qualifying students and accepts child care subsidy programs administered by Norwescap CFRS in Sussex County.
As part of the Y’s effort to encourage healthy habits, the Y incorporates the nationally recognized Coordinated Approach to Child Health curriculum into its before and after school program by providing nutritious snacks and physical activities each day.
Because the safety of children is the YMCA’s number one priority, all of the Sussex County YMCA’s School Age Child Care sites are licensed by the state and meet and exceed their standards, including maintaining lower staff-to-child ratios. All staff receive on-going training throughout the year that includes CPR and first aid certifications. YMCA staff undergo thorough background screening and reference checks prior to employment. Staff are also required to obtain over 30 hours of training in child development and safety.
The Y utilizes the Raptor web-based platform to screen guests, instantly identifying sex-offenders to prevent access to our facilities. The Raptor system is widely used in Sussex County schools.