NeighborImpact Child Care Resources supports Crook County School District in providing emergency child care

Central OR– School districts across the state scrambled to put plans in place after Governor Kate Brown’s March 23 order. The order mandates that schools provide emergency child care to essential emergency responders during the COVID-19 crisis, a task that many schools were unprepared for. For Crook County School District, NeighborImpact Child Care Resources proved an invaluable partner in making the order a reality in Crook County.

“NeighborImpact Child Care Resources is working to connect our childcare providers with essential workforce,” said NeighborImpact Child Care Resources Director, Karen Prow. “We see that as a really important role and we are happy to support the important work of Crook County School District.”
 
NeighborImpact’s program staff leveraged their connections with child care professionals in the region and their knowledge of how to navigate the logistics of child care operation. They worked closely with the school district and the county to identify the kind of care that exists right now, the need among emergency personnel, who is available to provide that care and how the agencies can work together to get the system operating as seamlessly as possible.
 
“CCR has been absolutely amazing. We couldn’t have set something up without having access to these resources,” said Mona Boyd, Crook County School District Special Education Director.
 
After identifying the need, the school district got to work transforming school rooms into childcare facilities. The school identified two spaces that can each serve up to ten children at a time. Kids Club, which is experienced in operating children’s summer programs, applied through the state to provide emergency child care and are staffing the rooms at the school. However, the staff and facility are only equipped to serve school-aged children, leaving a need for child care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
 
NeighborImpact Child Care Resources was able to help.
 
“NeighborImpact CCR was amazing about finding local providers for especially those non-school-aged kids,” said Boyd. “They have been great at asking ‘what are your needs and how can we provide those things for you?'”
 
With NeighborImpact’s help, the school has identified five local providers offering a total of 24 child care slots for children from infancy to preschool.
 
“We couldn’t have done this without CCR and the work that they’ve done,” said Boyd.
 
In addition to their work with Crook County School District, NeighborImpact Child Care Resources has been hard at work offering a variety of supports to regional child care providers, including navigating insurance, understanding their responsibilities under the new order, health and safety compliance, business support and more.
 
“We are also working with providers to help them to stabilize their businesses, whether they are open or closed,” said Prow. “We were in a childcare crisis before all this hit. We are really trying to work with providers to get them through this so they can open strong on the other side.”
 
Resources for child care providers, including frequently asked questions and licensing information, can be found on the program’s website at www.neighborimpact.org/get-help/childcare-provider-resources/
 
As an essential business providing essential services to disadvantaged individuals in Central Oregon, NeighborImpact will continue to serve all three counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Those needing assistance may access all services via telephone and online through the region or in person in Bend, Redmond and Madras. 
 
For updates on NeighborImpact’s response to COVID-19, visit: https://www.neighborimpact.org/coronavirus-response/.
About NeighborImpact: Since 1985, NeighborImpact has been a leader in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Jefferson, Deschutes County and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The agency offers a diversity of services meeting basic human needs for food and shelter, while enriching people’s lives by providing access to increased education, skills, and hope for the future. NeighborImpact is a private nonprofit organization that receives federal, state and local grants, foundation grants and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit www.neighborimpact.org. 
# # #