PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Governor Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman announced Tuesday that they will partner to launch a program to offer childcare for workers on the front lines fighting coronavirus.
The program comes after Ducey and Hoffman announced that schools in Arizona will remain closed until at least April 10.
Arizona schools will be closed for two additional weeks.
According to a press release, the initiative, called Arizona Enrichment Centers, will start next week. It will offer childcare for the children of first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers. The release did not specify exactly which workers qualify for the program.
Several school districts across the state are participating, and will follow the CDC's guidance for school and childcare programs as well the Arizona Department of Health Services' childcare facility COVID-19 guidance, according to the press release.
School districts across the state have been shut down for at least two weeks and are now scrambling to figure out how to make this work for the teachers, staff, students and their families.
“This initiative will offer critical support for the women and men working on the front lines to respond to COVID-19,” said Ducey. “We will continue to work with our outstanding school leaders all across Arizona to provide more capacity to serve these families.”
Key things to know about the Student Enrichment Centers:
- Children and staff/volunteers will have their temperatures taken upon entering the enrichment center - anyone with a fever will not be admitted.
- Volunteers/staff at the enrichment centers will wipe down surfaces frequently with disinfectant.
- Each room will not exceed a safe maximum of students, supported by at least one adult; this will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs.
- Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s eligibility.
- Districts are working to select schools in close proximity to hospitals to add convenience for health care workers.
- Centers will be open Monday through Friday. Hours may vary by location.
- The environment will be safe and supportive, and staff will be prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs. All staff will complete background checks.
- Children will be allowed to bring remote devices so they can work on schoolwork while at the centers.
Ducey said more information will be released in the next few days. Anyone with questions can email AZEnrichmentCenters@az.gov.