Emergency Childcare Program

While local schools are closed due to coronavirus, the YMCA of Western North Carolina, YWCA of Asheville, Asheville City Parks and Recreation, and Henderson County Public Schools are offering emergency childcare for people who provide essential services.

These guidelines and programs have been developed with community partners through county emergency operations centers. The need for and utilization of childcare resources is continually assessed, and resources are developed to respond to the demand.

YMCA childcare

The YMCA offers safe, engaging activities with trained, certified staff. There are 45 slots each at four sites, and additional sites will be opened based on need. The maximum ratio of staff to children is 1:9.

Care is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, at three sites in Buncombe and one in McDowell. Advance registration is required. Drop off is 7-9 a.m. Ages vary by location. Lunch is provided at Buncombe County sites.

The fee for daily drop-in care is $40 per child. The state began funding weekly childcare on April 1. Parents need to register for weekly care, not the daily drop-in program, to participate in the state-funded program.

To qualify for the state-funded weekly program, parents must certify that they are a critical worker responding to the COVID-19 crisis or protecting the health and safety of communities; have no other child care options available; and earn income less than the number corresponding to their household size via the following table:

Persons in Household Income Cutoff
1 $38,280
2 $51,720
3 $65,160
4 $78,600
5 $92,040
6 $105,480
7 $118,920 
8 $132,360 

Due to new state licensing requirements, all parents applying for the weekly state-funded program are required to complete this state application for financial assistance.

YWCA and Asheville Parks & Rec

The YWCA of Asheville and Asheville City Parks and Recreation are also offering emergency childcare for certain essential workers in Buncombe County. See bottom of page for program and registration details.

Henderson County Public Schools

HCPS is providing emergency childcare for essential personnel who live in Henderson County. See bottom of page for registration details.

Safety precautions

Trained personnel are on hand during drop-off each day to screen staff and children at YMCA sites. Similar efforts are being developed for City Parks and Recreation locations. 

Before opening, all childcare centers were deep cleaned. All childcare sites will continue to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and sanitation. The YMCA is also following guidance from NCDHHS and the NC Department of Public Instruction for childcare facilities located in schools.

Register for YMCA childcare

Advance registration is required to ensure we have the required paperwork completed for your child(ren). Click here to sign up for YMCA childcareFor the weekly program funded by the state, enter promo code ECCW

Buncombe County (ages 3-12)

  • Estes Elementary
  • Oakley Elementary
  • Weaverville Elementary

McDowell County (ages 5-12)

  • West Marion Elementary


Register for YWCA childcare (Asheville and Buncombe County)

The YWCA of Asheville has 47 slots in their downtown facility. This will serve ages 0-12, with 12 slots for infants, 12 slots for ages toddlers, 11 slots for ages 3-5, and 12 slots for ages 5-12. The fee will be $15/day per child, but the YWCA will also accept donations to help support keeping the program running at this reduced rate. Register for YWCA childcare here.

Register for Parks & Rec childcare (Asheville)

For local government, Asheville Housing Authority, and municipality essential staff only, Asheville City Parks and Recreation has three sites for children ages 5-12, located at Shiloh Community Center, Tempie Avery Montford Complex, and Stephens-Lee Community Center. There are 40 slots at each site, and availability is first come, first served. Register for Parks & Rec childcare here.

Register for HCPS childcare (Henderson County)

Henderson County Public Schools are offering K-5 care from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack are served at no charge. Reserve here for the week of April 6-10.