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Free childcare program launched for healthcare workers, first responders

Mar 30, 2020, 6:33 PM
A new report shows that Utah businesses are losing over $1 billion a year because employees have to...
A new report shows that Utah businesses are losing over $1 billion a year because employees have to deal with childcare issues. More specifically, $1.36 billion and $258 million are lost in tax revenue annually. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a difficult time for nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare workers and first responders. Especially if they try to take time off during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. That’s nearly impossible.

And social distancing rules mean it’s not a good idea for the kids to stay with Grandma.

That’s why the state of Utah has launched the One Utah Childcare program. It offers free childcare to healthcare workers, first responders, and law enforcement personnel.

These jobs are considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of the Utah Office of Child Care, Tracy Gruber, announced the One Utah Childcare program at a news conference in Salt Lake City on Monday.

“Beginning this week there will be at least 10 programs online to provide this childcare as soon as Wednesday, with more coming online throughout the week and in the weeks to come,” Gruber said.

Gruber also explained how the childcare centers will work.

“These sites will be open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to cover the hours in which schools are no longer [open]. School-aged sites will provide time for distance learning activities so kids can stay engaged with their school work,” Gruber said.

And what about parents who work nights and/or weekends?

“The One Utah Childcare system is maintaining a list of caregivers who have been background checked — willing to work in people’s homes,” Gruber said.

The free childcare is expected to be offered at least for the next few weeks.

Parents can find more information at the state of Utah’s jobs website by searching for “One Utah Childcare.”

 

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