YMCA offers evening child care for students, employees

August 30, 2022 (Volume 46, Number 1)
Article by Michele Coffill

The David D. Hunting branch of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is shown in the background across the street from the Pew Grand Rapids campus blue signage

The David D. Hunting branch of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, pictured next to the Pew Grand Rapids Campus on Lake Michigan Dr. NW, will offer evening child care to GVSU students, faculty and staff members.

Photo Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

Grand Valley and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids have established a pilot program that provides university students and employees with child care services during weekday evenings.

Child care services for children 6 weeks to 5 years old will be provided only at the David D. Hunting location (475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids) on Mondays-Thursdays from 5:30-9:30 p.m. GVSU students and employees will pay $35 per evening of care, with a semester-long commitment. They do not have to be YMCA members to participate. 

Daphnea Sutherland, director of Grand Valley's Children's Enrichment Center, said this block of time is critical to student parents who have evening classes. Sutherland worked closely with YMCA staff members and a university committee to finalize details. 

The idea to partner with the YMCA was broached by Tonya Parker, professor and clinical education coordinator of athletic training, who said it stemmed from a graduate learners subgroup brainstorming tactics for the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.

"Barriers were quickly identified in childcare for evening classes, especially for programs on the Pew and Health campuses," Parker said. "The David D. Hunting YMCA was a natural fit as staff there offer excellent child care during the day; they were enthusiastic to partner with us for an evening program for all students, staff and faculty."

More information about the program is available on the YMCA website and the Children's Enrichment Center website.


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This article was last edited on August 29, 2022 at 12:52 p.m.

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