Call out for care: childcare a critical need for essential employees and their families

Over 230 children of essential workers are in urgent need of childcare in Monroe County. These families include parents or guardians working as health care providers, first responders, or pharmacists. They are making essential medical products, providing sanitation services, or stocking shelves at grocery stores. In each instance, these indispensable workers need the community’s support to ensure their children are well-cared for while they serve the essential needs of Monroe County residents.

“It is critical that we rally around the families of essential workers,” said City of Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “We have childcare providers and others that are willing to reopen existing sites or create emergency childcare locations. However, we need staffing to make this possible. If you are a healthy adult with the capacity and skill set to help, we hope you will step forward and generously provide your talents to care for children in our community during this unprecedented crisis.”

In an effort to assist essential working families and employers, the Community Foundation’s Monroe Smart Start program has developed a tool for healthy childcare workers, educators, teachers, college students, or others with childcare experience to sign up for paid employment opportunities. Those interested in employment can indicate their interest to provide childcare at: https://www.monroesmartstart.org/providers/emergency-childcare

The names of interested individuals will be provided to local childcare providers or employers assisting their staff to find care for their children. Childcare opportunities can be either part- or full-time. Those signing up to help can specify ages of children with whom they are interested in working (6 weeks to age 5, or ages 6-12), and if they would prefer to work in homes or childcare centers. Once information is exchanged, families and/or childcare programs/organizations will work with the potential childcare employee to agree upon hourly wage, work hours, and terms of employment.

“As a community that excels in providing care to children of all ages, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson. “With all public schools closed and most early learning sites shuttered as well, we have a crisis in childcare for essential workers. Given the wealth of local individuals with experience working with children ages 6 weeks to 12, we are committed to helping find the people that will allow existing providers to reopen or for innovative solutions to be activated in our community.”

A taskforce was recently convened to address the emerging childcare needs of essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The taskforce is collecting information to help understand the need for childcare, the barriers to providing essential care, and strategies that might be deployed if adequate resources can be secured. The taskforce is also exploring CDC aligned models for care, alternate locations for serving children, and resources necessary to provide care in an environment defined by the implications of COVID-19.

“Staffing is the key determinant for successfully providing the childcare so urgently needed by local families,” added Peterson. “We know our community has many compassionate childcare workers, and this call out for care is a starting point towards connecting them with families who are stepping up each day to ensure that this community has essential services. This is our chance to stand alongside our local heroes in fighting against COVID-19 in Monroe County.”

For more information on emergency childcare for essential workers, please contact Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson at tinapeterson@cfbmc.org or Jennifer Myers, Monroe Smart Start Coordinator at jennifer@cfbmc.org.

Monroe County Emergency Childcare Task Force:

  • Jeff Baldwin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Jackie Bond, Indiana Association for Education of Young Children
  • Alex Crowley, City of Bloomington
  • Judy DeMuth, Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Kristy Fallon, Catalent
  • Efrat Feferman, United Way of Monroe County
  • Angie Frye, IU Health
  • Penny Githens, Monroe County Government
  • Gretchen Gutman, Cook Medical
  • Andrea Mobley, Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Meleah Monroe, IU Health
  • Jennifer Myers, Monroe Smart Start
  • Dan Peterson, Cook Medical
  • Tina Peterson, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County
  • Erin Predmore, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
  • Natalie Pugh, Chances and Services for Youth
  • Jerry Sanders, Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
  • Moriah Sowders, Boston Scientific

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990.  The Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources. More information can be found at www.cfbmc.org.

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On April 7th, 2020, posted in: News by

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