November 17th, 2018

YMCA looks to clear up rumours as registration for school programs opens

By Peggy Revell on June 14, 2018.

Carlos Martinez and Mackenzie Hankins build with Lego recently at the Ken Sauer School after-school program. The local YMCA, recently awarded the contract by School Division 76 to take over running these programs in the fall, is now accepting registrations.--NEWS FILE PHOTO
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Registration is underway as the local YMCA gears up to take over multiple before- and after-school programs this fall for the Medicine Hat School Division.

“Anxiety over the change” has led to certain rumours floating around, said Medicine Hat YMCA CEO Sharon Hayward, encouraging those who have questions or wanting clarity to contact the organization.

In upcoming weeks, staff are planning to be present at the 11 affected schools to give out registration forms and answer any questions parents have. Those unable to attend are welcome to contact the program manager, said Hayward, whose contact information is on registration forms.

SD 76’s before- and after-school programs have until now been managed independently by each school. The YMCA was awarded the contract to take over the operation of these programs earlier this year.

“We’re not planning to turn any children away,” stressed Hayward. “That’s one of the fears we’ve heard, that there’s some kind of waitlist and if people aren’t on it they won’t get in. That’s not the case at all.”

The YMCA is in the process of finalizing licences for each of the locations, she said, and has usage data from the school division.

“So we are making sure the licence can accommodate those numbers.”

Hiring is also underway, said Hayward, and those interested in working in the program should get their resumes in.

“There’s been a real fear, too, that we’re not hiring any of the existing staff,” she said, emphasizing this is not the case and it’s in both the YMCA and kids’ best interest to hire existing staff. “That’s definitely our plan of action, so long as we get the application.

“Of course they do have to go through the hiring process, that’s just a reality,” she added, meaning screening, reference checks, recommendations, criminal record checks and having required certifications.

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