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YWCA Child Care Meets Demands, Allays Stress

By YWCA Minneapolis
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July 6, 2022

With two tots in tow, Bill and Heather Flynn share how they emerged from the post-pandemic lockdown to find YWCA child care at Ecolab as their lifeline.

Tell us about your children. How old are they and what are their interests? 

Eva is almost four years old and has a remarkably boundless well of energy that keeps us laughing and ragged from the moment her eyes open in the morning until she falls asleep at night. We can’t wait until she’s old enough to join a track team. Please, we need a nap. Along with her endless motor comes an enormous appetite. Her first words after waking are often, “Can I have snacks?” Her favorite meal is what we’ve coined “Toddler Charcuterie,” a plate full of fruit, nuts, cheese and meats with the occasional side of candy. The candy always disappears first. Eva is inquisitive, kind, funny, spirited and prone to the occasional epic meltdown. In other words, a typical toddler! We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Our Zoe will turn one this July. She has the sweetest disposition and always lets you know how happy she is to see you. Zoe enjoys crawling about in search of her sister’s toys, aggressively patting our two dogs, and chewing on everything she’s not allowed to as soon as we look away. She’s doing her very best to keep up with her older sister, and we expect little Zo-Zo to start running marathons alongside her sister very soon.

What first drew you to YWCA’s program?

Heather works for Ecolab and YWCA’s convenient location in Downtown St. Paul is what first piqued our interest. In addition to the location, their focus on a holistic, inclusive approach to early childhood education sealed the deal.

What has your experience been like?

We are incredibly grateful for the kind, hardworking educators and child care staff at YWCA. They are doing some of the most challenging work in our communities. We get overwhelmed with our two children. To successfully manage a room full of children day after day is a feat that has our endless respect. We know our children are in good hands during the day while we’re working, and that their growth, development, and safety are top priorities.

Kids aren’t meant to sit around while their middle-aged parents stare at computer screens and take phone calls. We absolutely could not function as a family without your help.

Has the pandemic interrupted child care or family life for you?

Our daughter Eva spent over a year and a half at home with us after the pandemic hit in March of 2020. We feel extremely fortunate that we kept our jobs and could work from home during that time, but juggling full-time work responsibilities and the demands of an energetic toddler was trying. We were stressed, and every day felt like a marathon.

How have you seen your child grow over the years since first enrolling with YWCA?

YWCA was an absolute lifeline for us to restore balance and normalcy. We also fretted about Eva’s social development during the pandemic. Kids aren’t meant to sit around while their middle-aged parents stare at computer screens and take phone calls. Knowing that she’s learning, developing and playing alongside other kids is very important for us. Thank you to the incredible staff at YWCA Ecolab. We absolutely could not function as a family without your help. We appreciate all of you.

Eva and Zoe share a moment of laughter and fun.
Big sister Eva checks in on one-year-old Zoe.

 

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