In an effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County will be opening the Palmetto and DeSoto Club locations to provide childcare for children ages 6-12 for essential healthcare workers and first responders. Thanks to the generosity of several supporters including United Way Suncoast and Manatee Community Foundation, these services will be provided at no cost to the family. While the Clubs remain closed for regular operations for members, this effort has been established to ensure that our community can respond to critical childcare needs during this crisis.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County will be strictly following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health’s guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all participants as much as possible. Daily temperature checks and screening will be conducted upon arrival, programming will be administered in groups of 10 or less, social distancing and hand washing will be practiced regularly, materials will be designated to individual children rather than shared, and all spaces will be sanitized and disinfected throughout the day.

Existing Club member families who do not qualify for this program will still be able to stay connected to their Club staff during the school shutdown via programming being offered online. “During this challenging time, it’s vital that our youth feel supported and encouraged even if their regular routines have been shifted. We understand that the needs of families are greater now more than ever and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to keep everyone safe while providing service to our community,” stated Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County’s President & CEO, Dawn Stanhope.

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