MAINE, USA — Health care workers are on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak, and with the hospital daycare closed, MaineHealth hopes to lighten their load by being a conduit for child care connections.
"This is an important service that we hope will greatly support our employees during this time of unprecedented need, as many of them are on the front lines dealing with the COVID19 outbreak," Sarah Perry, senior manager of corporate communications for MaineHealth told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Because of the need for social distancing and self-isolation, MaineHealth is unable to provide on-site childcare for their employees, but they are making efforts to support the staff by launching an online directory of childcare options.
“We are encouraging both external partners and the MaineHealth community to contribute to this directory to support the current demand for child care,” the Child Care Connection page says.
So far, it’s been a healthy mix of people who have added their names to the directory: social workers, teachers, students, daycare providers, churches, and more.
While typically there are strict screenings and requirements for being a childcare provider, during the coronavirus outbreak those requirements have been lessened.
The directory is simply serving as a resource for families who need childcare; it’s a one-stop-shop for families who are looking for those services. Screening is up to the individual person, rather than MaineHealth.
"MaineHealth is providing this directory as a convenient resource for its team members," MaineHealth says in a press release, "it is not recommending or endorsing any particular service, company or caregiver. Team members must perform their own assessment and due diligence in evaluating potential caregivers for family members."
Phil Giordano, a leadership development specialist at MaineHealth, says since the directory launched Wednesday, they’ve had 70 entries.
“We’ve got a good beginning,” he said.
Giordano says they are still trying to assess the full need, but says he’d like to see it get up to 200 people. Giordano said even 200 isn’t a lot to accommodate the entire MaineHealth system.
For more information about how to sign up, click here: https://mainehealth.org/healthy-communities/coronavirus/child-care-connection
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
Editor’s note: You are starting to hear the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means.
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