Helping First Responders With Free Childcare
San Diego Ray & Joan Kroc Center, AT&T Team Up:
Providing Free Childcare for Frontline Workers
By Pamela Davis
San Diego health care professionals, emergency responders and other essential workers don’t have the choice to stay home with their kids during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But thanks to a partnership with AT&T, The Salvation Army San Diego’s Ray & Joan Kroc Center is currently providing childcare for free with priority to first responders and hospital workers. The Kroc Center can serve up to 40 kids per day. The childcare service began April 6th, and is provided Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
AT&T’s support for the Salvation Army is part of the company’s commitment of $5.5 million to provide needed support for first responders, medical personnel and others impacted by COVID-19.
For parents like Tanisha, a hospital administrator who connects patients with lifesaving resources, it’s a huge help. While she works on the front lines for the fight against COVID-19, her Navy husband is deployed and working on the front lines for our country. Her 8 year old is out of school. She is on-call 24/7, but she’s managing it all thanks to the Kroc Center Camp for First Responders, which received financial support from AT&T.
Tanisha says simply, “It’s been a blessing.”
At camp her son loves playing and creating. What Tanisha finds helpful is that the students can do their schoolwork. They can take their books and worksheets and even interact with their teachers online.
Once the schoolwork is done, then it’s time to play! The kids make crafts, play board games and do creative projects. One of the counselors is a film student at Emerson College. She directed the campers in a short film about superheroes.
They designed their costumes and even made (pretend) lasers!
Safety is really important to Tanisha as a mom and as a health care professional. She does her best to keep the virus out of her home. She changes out of her work clothes in the garage before she goes in and washes her hands thoroughly.
It gives her comfort to know that the Kroc’s staff is also careful. The children are in groups of 4-8. Parents drop them off outside and do not go inside. All of the program’s counselors wear masks. The children wash their hands often and there is a hand sanitizer bottle every few feet throughout the facility.
While she witnesses firsthand the devastating effects of this very contagious virus, Tanisha is relieved that her son is safe and happy.
“I am so grateful to the Salvation Army and AT&T for this camp. I honestly don’t know how I would manage without it.”