HARTFORD, Conn. — The state Office of Early Childhood says they have a plan to make sure frontline healthcare workers can focus on doing their job. It’s called ‘Project 26.’
Commissioner Beth Bye told FOX61 that both staff and children would be screened to make sure they are healthy before they go inside. Parents won’t be allowed in. Each Project 26 daycare facility will have space for isolating anyone who may develop symptoms during the day.
”This is just a sign of how people are stepping up to support those frontline workers,” said Bye. “Making sure that there is childcare for essential workers and that’s a big challenge.”
The goal is to secure a facility near each of the states 26 hospitals to allow frontline healthcare workers to be able to focus on the critical care of their patients knowing their kids will be taken care of. “We are opening them quickly. In a week and a half we have 10 ready to open with contracts,” said Bye.
It’s made possible, in part, thanks to a generous 3-million donation from the Dalio Foundation. “Mrs. Dalio’s direction to me is that she wants our focus on these frontline workers who are sacrificing to help them with childcare,” said Bye.
Healthcare workers only can call this dedicated line to find childcare. 860-756-0864. Nonhealthcare workers can call 211. Commissioner Bye told FOX61 if you aren’t a hospital worker you are also encouraged, “To find trusted neighbors and friends who you know and who trust to watch after your child. And make sure you check in with them about health.”
Unlike Gov. Baker in Massachusetts, Gov. Ned Lamont has encouraged though not required childcare centers to stay open. “We can’t just one day say all childcare centers are shut. What’s going to happen at our nursing home what is going to happen at our hospitals if he did that?” said Bye.
The $3 million donation to make this possible is being managed and administered through the help of CREC, the Capitol Region Education Council.