Daycare options for first responders and healthcare workers with young children

First responders still have to go to work. One childcare agency is opening their doors so they can continue to help us.
Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 10:23 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - While everything is closing around us because of the coronavirus pandemic, first responders still have to go to work. One agency is opening their doors so they can continue to help us.

St. Joseph Children’s Home is one of the few agencies that can provide child care right now to families who are essential first responders. St. Joe’s was given what’s called a Limited Duration Center license by the Office of the Inspector General in order to continue providing child care to essential first responders during the coronavirus pandemic. That includes people in the healthcare industry, first responders like law enforcement, EMS, fire department, corrections officers and people who work for the Department of Community Based Services.

“For many families their alternate source of child care tends to be grandparents and family members,” St. Joe’s Child Development Center Director April Manning said. “In this crisis a lot of families don’t want their children and elderly grandparents exposed to each other for safety and health reasons. It’s just an important service that we can provide and we are happy to do that.”

Dr. Tyler Sharpe is a physician at University of Louisville Hospital, but he’s also a father. Sharpe, who has son, Grey, age 5, still has to work and doesn’t have the option to work from home.

“We have to be in," Dr. Sharpe said, "we have to see patients every single day.”

Dr. Sharpe needed child care and found an option through St. Joseph Children’s Home.

“Huge surprise out of the blue," Dr. Sharpe said, "really a blessing.”

St. Joe’s can provide care to children six weeks to Pre-K. To make it affordable, they offering child care half off their regular fees right now. To practice social distancing, with this license they can accommodate 75 children Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

They are taking precautionary steps.

“More frequent hand washing, more frequent toy sanitation,” Manning said. “We are using a limited number of classrooms so that each evening the ones that were used can get a deep cleaning by our staff.”

For Dr. Sharpe, he says he knows his son in safe hands and he can continue to help others in this “new normal.”

“Who knows how long this will go on. Knowing he can be back in daycare is going to help so much,” Dr. Sharpe said.

There is very specific information that people who qualify must submit to St. Joe’s in order to be enrolled in child care. For that information, click here.

For more information on St. Joe’s, click here.

For frequently asked question on Limited Duration Center license, click here.

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