When the City of Seattle launched our Emergency Child Care program at the end of March, our goal was to meet the urgent need felt by essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response for reliable child care in the wake of school closures. In response to this demand, the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) mobilized Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) providers across the city, and the Emergency Child Care (ECC) program launched with 28 classrooms and more than 230 slots for preschool and school-age children.
One critical need remained—care for infants and toddlers. SPP providers, who had already adapted their preschool classrooms and programs to serve school-age children, were simply not set up to serve the very different needs of babies and toddlers. For many families with children aged 0-3, their normal care options—whether grandparents now at heightened risk or a provider whose doors had closed—were no longer available, and these essential workers were left wondering how to continue working without reliable care for their youngest children.
Enter Child Care Resources.[Read more…]