Child Care For Children Of Essential Workers

April 6, 2020

The Child Care programme for children of essential services workers commenced last week, Minister of Education Diallo Rabain said.

Speaking at this evening’s press conference, Minister Rabain said, “Good Evening, We are pleased to report that the Child Care programme for children of our Essential Services Workers commenced last week, Wednesday, April 1st, 2020. The operation of this programme is needed for children of our frontline workers as they provide much-needed services to our country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Only one site is operational at this point at the Sammy Wilson Central Zone Center on Angle Street. Another location will open as the demand for child care from our essential services workers increases. The Department of Environmental Health developed a protocol for the camp, and strict measures have been put in place so that social distancing is practised with the children and the child care providers. A minimum of three [3] Custodians are on hand each day to ensure continuous cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day of surfaces frequently touched by students, and for heightened cleaning of the bathrooms.

“The child care programme this week will be activity-based as children continue to be on an extended Spring Break. Next week, the programme will be structured with academic work during the mornings and activities in the afternoon. Children are encouraged to bring their electronic devices to do any pre-assigned school work. The Department of Education will have Education Officers on-site during the mornings of next week to support children with their school work.  The Department’s Education Officer, for Counselling, will be readily available to provide counselling services for children, if needed.

“The safety of every child is essential. Therefore, a Nurse from the Department of Health will be making visits to the Community Center to screen the children. The Department of Youth & Sport’s IT Officer will be on-site initially to ensure that students and child care providers can work with any online platforms during the morning academic sessions.

“Today I was informed that some of our essential services workers did not drop their children off to site this morning due to the “Shelter in Place” enforcement. However let me emphasize that this child care service is specifically for the children of all of our essential services workers and they can drop them off for care from 7:30 am mornings.

“In closing, let me say that although the Ministry of Education was tasked to organize the child care services programme for our essential services workers, this would not have come to fruition without the direct support and commitment of the team at the Department of Youth Sport & Recreation.

“So I take this opportunity to thank the officers from the Department of Education and the Department of Youth Sport & Recreation who planned and organized the child care service.  Additionally, special commendations are extended to the staff and team of child care providers at the Department of Youth and Sport who will be overseeing the full operation of this programme. This team of workers have been on standby ready to lend support when first called upon; and, they were instrumental in helping with the logistical planning of this programme from the start.

“We certainly appreciate their commitment and willingness to run a safe and healthy programme for the children of our Essential Services Workers so that they can continue the fight against COVID-19.”

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