Essential Childcare Expanded With More Locations

City of Memphis to Partner with YMCA Extending Free Childcare for More Essential Workers

May 28, 2020

The YMCA is currently operating over 18 essential childcare locations throughout the

To support the Memphis workforce and ensure workers have access to quality and consistent child care, the City of Memphis has committed to converting 23 community centers to essential worker child care locations in partnership with the YMCA. This will expand free child care for essential workers to more locations throughout the city.

These community center locations will open in three phases, with the first eight centers opening on Monday, June 8th. 

View Locations

The Y is operating these childcare programs with additional safety measures and precautions to help prevent the spread of disease, which include reduced group size, social distancing, and increased cleaning measures. With the extension of the partnership, the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South will be able to serve additional children in new locations at no cost to families, which allows essential workers to go to work knowing that their child is in a safe, supportive environment.

“The YMCA is proud to continue to work alongside the City of Memphis to meet the needs of families in our communities,” said Jerry Martin, President & CEO of YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South. “In the weeks since the program started we have been able to serve over 700 children and are on track to serve even more. We are continuing to add more locations and resources to make care even more accessible for working families.”

“Over the course of their long history, the YMCA has made significant contributions to every community in which they serve,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “Throughout this pandemic, they have remained true to their legacy. They have been nothing short of a fantastic partner, and adding this much needed service for essential workers as we work to reopen our city will be invaluable.”


Registration Information

To be eligible for the program, parents must work in Tennessee in an industry that is identified as being essential by Governor Bill Lee’s “Safer at Home” order. More details on which occupations qualify are available online at This program provides payment assistance through mid-August 2020 to help essential employees stay on the job through the summer.

Families can register for care by day through a flexible registration process. Care is supervised by trained childcare team members for school age children, beginning at age 5. Registration for the community center locations opens on Monday, June 1st.

For more information on locations, times, and to sign up, follow this link.



These programs are possible through a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Human Services and the YMCA to support families that are serving in essential workforce positions throughout the state.