Starting the week of April 6, the University of Washington’s Haring Center for Inclusive Education will provide emergency child care to staff at UW Medical Center during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Haring Center Director Ilene Schwartz said that with the closure of all P-12 schools and many child care programs in Washington state, medical personnel are experiencing great difficulty in finding appropriate care for their children.
“In mid-March, University of Washington leadership approached the Haring Center to consider what role we could play in providing emergency child care to UW Medical Center staff during this public health crisis,” Schwartz said. “These first responders are providing essential care to our community, and we are honored to be able to step forward and help reduce the burden on caregivers during an already stressful moment.”
Over a two-week period, Haring Center teaching and family support staff developed a plan to provide drop-in child care for UW Medical Center staff while Washington schools are closed. That planning to transition the building from an inclusive school to a child care center with intensive safety procedures in the midst of the current pandemic has also been shared with other sites looking to make similar transitions.
Approximately 40 to 50 children will be served at the Haring Center’s Experimental Education Unit demonstration school, a national model for inclusive early education.
“I have never been more proud of our Haring Center staff than I have been to see the creative energy and hard work put into getting this emergency child care up and running so quickly,” Schwartz said.
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