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KEY Zone

K.E.Y. Zone Program

The K.E.Y. Zone program provides a safe and supervised environment for youth to receive educational support and participate in enrichment activities. Program goals include fostering enrichment and learning, development of life skills, promoting regular attendance in school, and providing year-round for youth in kindergarten to 5th grade.


K.E.Y. Zone 2022 Summer Program: Registration opened on March 7, 2022 
ALL K. E. Y. ZONE Summer sites are full and registration is closed, but we are taking a waiting list at each site.

  • Sites: Lester Park, Ordean East, Lowell, and Laura MacArthur
  • Dates: June 20 – August 26 (closed July 4th), must register for at least 20 days
  • Time: 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Grades: Youth must have completed Kindergarten – 5th

**Due to the nationwide shortage of employees we have a limited number of locations and number of spots available for K.E.Y. Zone summer and school year programming. Registration will be on a first come first serve basis. We will have a waitlist for full sites and open more spots as staffing is available. Please understand this is for the safety of our youth. No exceptions will be made at this time.

Waiting List Information:

Families can be placed on a waiting list by calling K.E.Y. Zone at 218-336-8900 x2 or emailing mark.connor@isd709.org. Once the program has secured more space and staff, the program will enroll families from the waiting list. K.E.Y. Zone is certified by the state to provide a safe care environment with guidelines for safety including staff to student ratios.


K.E.Y. Zone 2022-23 School Year Program: Registration opened on April 4, 2022 -  9:00AM

  • Sites: All 9 ISD 709 elementary schools
  • Afterschool Time: 2:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Break Days: Open at select sites and days from 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

**Lowell, Lester Park, and Congdon sites are currently taking waiting lists for Fall 22-23 school year

**Due to staffing shortages, K.E.Y. Zone is only able to take a limited number of students for after school care in the fall. If we are able to hire more staff, we will take families from the waiting list on a first come, first serve basis. For the safety of our youth we cannot take more youth than we have staff to care for. We are certified through the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and have to stay within staff to student ratios to be compliant. We would like nothing more than to hire enough staff to be able to take all youth that are in need of after school care. Please help us by spreading the word of our employment opportunities for summer and fall of 2022. Our job listing can be found at duluthymca.org

Waiting List Information:

Families can be placed on a waiting list by calling K.E.Y. Zone at 218-336-8900 x2 or emailing mark.connor@isd709.org. Once the program has secured more space and staff, the program will enroll families from the waiting list. K.E.Y. Zone is certified by the state to provide a safe care environment with guidelines for safety including staff to student ratios.


Program Rates:

Options Description New Rate
Monthly Option A Full: (5 days/week) $185.00/month/child
Monthly Option B Flex: (12 days/month) $132.00/month/child
Daily Rate Break Days & Summer $40.00/day/child


Payment Information: A $35.00 per child registration fee is due annually and is non-refundable. Once registered for the program, you can schedule attendance and/or manage your account online.

Invoices are distributed electronically by the Duluth Community Education offices on the 25th of each month with payment due the 1st of each month. Outstanding balances are subject to late fees and will impact eligibility to participate in the program. Families pay their balance through scheduled monthly autopayment by credit card.

For Billing and Registration Questions: 218-336-8900 x2 or mark.connor@isd709.org

For Program Questions: 218-722-4745 or kcorbett@duluthymca.org


Child Care County Assistance and Financial Assistance:

We believe that every child should have the opportunity to succeed. That’s why we offer multiple resources to help families pay for child care expenses. To qualify for financial assistance, you must be currently enrolled or in the process of enrolling at one of our Out of School Time (OST) programs. Financial assistance is designed to help cover expenses based on your family size and gross income per your household. A registration fee is required at the time of enrollment.

It is possible for families to qualify for both St. Louis County and YMCA financial assistance programs. Families must apply for state child care assistance before applying for YMCA Financial Assistance. Please see the information below on both St. Louis Child Care Assistance and YMCA Financial Assistance.

To apply for St Louis Child Care County Assistance, please follow the steps below:

  • 1.Apply on this site for St. Louis County Childcare Assistance.
  • 2.If you need help completing the county application, please call 218-726-2400.
  • 3.When you receive your determination letter please contact KEY Zone registration and billing office at 218-336-8900 x2 or mark.connor@isd709.org.
  • 4.If you have more questions about Minnesota’s requirements for child care assistance, please visit this site Minnesota Childcare Assistance Tasks.

To apply for YMCA Child Care Financial Assistance, please follow the steps below:

  • 1.Apply for child care assistance in the county in which you reside.
  • 2.When you receive your determination letter (whether accepted or denied), you must submit the paperwork with your OST Financial Assistance application.
  • 3.You must submit all information listed on the application to be considered. Processing takes a minimum of two weeks. If funds are not available at the time of submission, you will be placed on a waiting list. If you leave the program, you will be removed from the waiting list and may re-apply should you want to enroll at a later date.

If you have more questions about Minnesota’s requirements for Child care assistance, please visit this site: Minnesota Childcare Assistance Tasks


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School Year 2022-23