Child care centers stay open for essential employees

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As children will be out of school much longer than expected, parents who are still working will have to worry about child care. We’ve learned providers that are still open, have been told to only accept kids whose parents work in essential positions.

“We’ve shut down almost all of our services but we’re just remaining to provide child care with those essential workers. Those healthcare workers and everybody that’s on that list. People stocking the shelves and everything,” said Mike Ashcraft.

Ashcraft is the co-founder and director of Children’s Choice. They work with APS and provide child care at 13 different schools. He said right now, at the six locations they have open, they have about 40 kids in their care, and are anticipating that number to go up.

CYFD has also issued a full-time child care assistance contract to first responders and health providers who need child care. The city says most of its community centers are also operating on a limited basis for kids five and up. You can find more info on the City of Albuquerque’s website.

For businesses like Children’s Choice, they say they’re doing their best to acclimate to the changes. “My kids can’t be on playground equipment because we can’t sanitize that equipment… they’re not doing things like playing with dress-up clothes or pretend food, anything that really involves a lot of touching,” said Ashcraft.

Children’s Choice said most of their staff has had to go on unemployment because they don’t have enough kids right now to care for.

View open childcare options around the state at http://www.newmexicokids.org/coronavirus/providers.php. According to officials at the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department, their staff is calling programs to confirm whether or not they are open. They will continue to update their website as more information comes in.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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