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Council Bluffs childcare providers collaborate to help emergency worker families

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 12:19:04-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — Childcare providers in Council Bluffs have teamed up to help first responders, medical providers and other essential workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Emergency Childcare Collaborative was formed after the closing of schools and daycare facilities left some public safety and health system teams without childcare.

According to a press release from Potawattamie County Emergency Management and the Council Bluffs Schools Foundation, the collaborative will provide free, daytime childcare to those who currently don't have it during closures.

“The precautionary measure to close schools during this pandemic is necessary to prevent spread, but we risk losing the life-saving benefit of closing schools if healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical employees are not able to work because they don’t have childcare,” Chris LaFerla, Executive Director at Council Bluffs Schools Foundation, said. “As a community we are happy to step in to provide childcare.”

Identified employers will be asked by the collaborative to notify their staff who need to work but don't have childcare during the day. Employees will enroll in the program through their employer, the press release said.

Children ages 4-12 will be served by Kids & Company at Longfellow Elementary School, located at 2011 S. 10th St from 6:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday during school/daycare closures.

Infants and toddlers will be served by collaborative childcare providers at their sites, including Shea's Learning Days, Children's Square and Jumping Monkeys. Lewis Central Lucky Children program staff will work where needed.

The press release said locations, hours and providers participating in the collaborative may be expanded as the need for childcare grows.

See more information below.

● Employees who wish to enroll in the childcare collaborative program are encouraged to contact their employer’s human resources office for more information.
● Childcare providers who wish to join the collaborative are encouraged to contact kids@cbsf.org.
● The Emergency Childcare Collaborative is hiring additional full-time, part-time, and temporary staff. For more information on employment opportunities contact kids@cbsf.org.

Emergency Childcare Collaborative partners include:
● Council Bluffs Schools Foundation and its Kids & Company School-Aged Childcare Program
● Council Bluffs Community School District
● Lewis Central Lucky Children School-Age Childcare Program
● Shea’s Learning Days
● Children’s Square USA Children’s Center
● Jumping Monkeys Childcare
● Pottawattamie County Emergency Management
● City of Council Bluffs
● Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital
● CHI Mercy Hospital
● Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce
● West Central Community Action - Child Care Resource and Referral