SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The pandemic has created gaps in how we live especially for the kids. Now, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is trying to take steps to help.
She is proposing to increase the Youth and Family Services budget by 1.6 million dollars to help level the playing field for many city families. The funding should help fill some childcare, educational and social service gaps caused by the pandemic.
The new funds will also help create an additional location, expand hours and add programs to meet the needs of the community.
“Now more than ever the parents in our community need to be able to rely on YouthCity programming to be a dependable and safe resource for their children. We’re committed to our city’s families, and this funding can make a huge impact on our ability to serve an acute need for them during this pandemic,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “I’m incredibly proud of the work of our Youth and Family Services team to pull this proposal together and hopeful for the impact it will have on our city’s youth.”
New funds, a bigger budget, the City would look to help Salt Lake City parents trying to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the return to school this fall through it’s programming. According to a press release sent to ABC4 News, “will focus on both current student coursework as well as any academic gaps that may have arisen since the beginning of the pandemic due to limited access to technology and digital services. The city will also expand it’s age groups from the traditional range of 8-18 to children ages 5-18.”
“Youth and Family is excited and honored to be able to provide expanded programming and sites to support Salt Lake City families during this pandemic,” Youth and Family Division Director Kim Thomas said. “We’ve implemented rigorous standards for health and safety and are happy to be able to welcome children back to YouthCity.”
The press release states: “To better ensure the health and safety of children participating in YouthCity, program groups will be limited to nine children, and masks and social distancing will be required. Additional health safety measures include hourly hand-washing and curbside pickup of children, complete with temperature checks and a health questionnaire screening.”
YouthCity will also expand its locations to adapted spaces in the city, including hosting programming in three Salt Lake City Public Library sites.
For more information about YouthCity visit https://www.slc.gov/youthandfamily/.