Schools play a vital role in getting communities through a crisis. Even now, when our local schools are closed, they continue to provide essential services that help feed our students bodies and minds, as well as also supporting the efforts of our first responders and health care workers by providing them free childcare during this crisis.
Local schools are working with Educational Service District 112 Early Care and Education to provide child care for healthcare workers, first responders, pharmacy workers, and grocery store workers.
To make sure everyone stays healthy, child care centers will maintain low group sizes and additional cleaning procedures are in place. Child care staff will be taking temperatures and checking for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) in staff and children upon entry each day and asking if medications were used to lower the child’s temperature and if there are any household members with COVID-19. Staff and children will be excluded from care if they do not pass the health screening.
Evergreen Public Schools announced the opening of Camp Evergreen at Crestline Elementary School (13003 SE 7th Street, Vancouver). Beginning Tuesday, March 24, it will operate weekdays (Monday-Friday) from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM and will be available for children 30 months through 12 years of age. The Camp will be staffed by Evergreen Public Schools employees. “One of Governor Inslee’s directives was to ensure our First Responders and HealthCare professionals had reliable childcare. We want to make sure those who can best assist our community during the COVID-19 outbreak are able to do so, and we have the facilities and staff to make that happen,” said Evergreen Public Schools Superintendent Mike Merlino. Registration information is available at: https://sites.google.com/evergreenps.org/eps-camp-evergreen/home
Ridgefield School District is also offering daycare for students who are in kindergarten through fourth grade and are the children of first responders and health care professionals starting Monday, April 6. This program will be at the RACC, and the hours of operation are tentatively set from 7:00 AM to – 6:30 PM. “Our Ridgefield Family Resource Center continues to be a vital support for families throughout the District. Much thanks to the team, including a dedicated group of volunteers, who make this happen daily,” adds McCann.
Vancouver Public Schools will offer free childcare services for healthcare workers, first responders, pharmacy workers, and grocery store workers starting March 30. “Our schools provide essential services that support not only the daily nutritional needs of students, but also the ability of our healthcare system to fight this virus as we care for the children of people working on the front lines,” states Superintendent Steve Webb. To request child care, please contact Educational Service District 112 Child Care Resource and Referral at 360-952-3466.
Battle Ground Public Schools will also be offering free childcare for first responders and healthcare workers. We do not have a start date from BGPS at this time. If you are a first responder or healthcare worker in need of this service, you can start the registration process here.