MIDDLETOWN, CT — In an update to the Middletown community, officials say they are committed to offering summer child care for working families during the new coronavirus pandemic. However, officials acknowledged that “circumstances dictate that the programming we are able to offer will not be the same summer camp experience we are used to.”
Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye announced Tuesday that licensed summer camps in the state will be able to open June 29 with very specific guidelines. Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim issued a joint statement with Cathy Lechowicz, director recreation and community services, and Kisha Michael, arts coordinator, on Thursday regarding the city’s summer programming.
“We are working closely with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and the Middletown Board of Education to come up with a detailed plan, and hope that we will be able to retain much of the spirit, if not all the activities, that make Children’s Circus and Recreation summer camps so special,” they wrote in the statement. “We will share any and all information with families as it becomes available. We wanted to reach out today to inform you that these plans are being made, and to share with you some of what we already know.” Read more from the update below:
- Registration is open and will remain open. If you have already registered for camp, your registration will remain valid for this year’s summer care offerings. If for whatever reason we are unable to provide summer childcare or you no longer want to enroll, you will receive a full refund.
- The number of overall participant slots must be reduced due to staffing and facility constraints.
- The city will unfortunately be unable to provide transportation for summer programs.
- Recreation will modify the hours of summer childcare to be 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., with no aftercare option. Circus hours will likely be 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
We also want to share with the community that, just as with every other element of the response to COVID-19, we will need your help and partnership to make this summer a success for Middletown families. During this crisis, it is a painful fact that some families need childcare more urgently than others. While we will do everything in our power to provide the best experience for the largest number of families possible, we ask that the camp community consider the limited number of spots available to families that include healthcare providers, first responders, and other essential workers. At this time, we have no plans to “ration” spots based on family circumstances, but we do ask that families who are able to provide childcare at home this summer consider that this is an essential service for those families who are not in that position.
Again, we are hopeful and committed to providing childcare this summer and will continue to compile all the guidelines to design a safe program for our families and staff. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work through this together as one community.
Ben Florsheim, Mayor
Cathy Lechowicz, Director Recreation & Community Services
Kisha Michael, Arts Coordinator