Child care centers open for health care providers’ families

Essential workers can get emergency child care while they respond to COVID-19

Child care centers open for health care providers’ families

New partnerships make sure Sanford Health employees and other health care workers and first responders can respond to COVID-19 without worrying about child care.

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sanford Health is collaborating with the city government, Avera and several non-profit community partners to offer child care options for health care workers and first responders during the coronavirus outbreak.

In Fargo, North Dakota, the YMCA has offered to prioritize child care for Sanford Health employees who work in the Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead communities. Due to this unique priority, children will be placed at one location. The YMCA will expand to additional locations and times based on need.

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Qualifying parents can schedule child care for children ages 4 weeks to through 13 years. Child care services begin Monday, March 23, and continue until school resumes.

“This is going to be a long, stressful time for everyone including our Sanford family,” said Paul Hanson, president of Sanford Sioux Falls. “We want to do everything we can to minimize stress during these difficult times.”

Child care workers and children screened

All children and child care workers will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus. A daily rate will be charged so that those participating in the child care program can compensate workers.

“We know schools being closed can place a heavy burden on many families,” Hanson said. “Working together to provide child care options for health care workers and first responders is the right thing to do. We are proud to join forces with our community partners, leading the way to finding practical solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.”

These child care options will only be available to patient-facing health care workers and first responders. These options are not available to the general public. Examples of patient-facing health care workers are physicians, nurses, clinic receptionists, hospital and clinic housekeepers, nursing aides, dietary aides, etc.

Job opportunities available

“Front-line health care workers and first responders are needed at their workplace during this outbreak,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Due to closings of schools and day cares, we have the resources within our city to help them. I’m very proud that we are able to collaborate for the good of our city.”

Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools, Dell Rapids School District and Tea Area School District are providing care for children of health care employees and first responders through their own programs. Accordingly, these school districts are communicating with parents of children who attend these schools about the potential need for child care.

Temporary positions are available for college or high school-aged students (age 16+) or other contacts who would be interested in providing child care. Apply online for the School Age Care Emergency Site Assistants position. Those with previous child care experience are preferred.

Apply for temporary work: School Age Care Emergency Site Assistants

Community partners in this effort include:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire
  • Brandon School District
  • Citibank South Dakota Bright Horizons
  • EmBe
  • Harrisburg School District
  • Kids, Inc.
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools
  • Sioux Falls Lutheran Schools
  • Sioux Falls School District
  • Tea Area School District
  • YMCA

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Posted In Community, COVID-19, People & Culture, Workplace Health