LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – In an effort to help first responders and medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer and Weld Counties will offer free day care for many children. Children of first responders and medical professionals, between the ages of 5 and 13 years old, will be allowed to drop off their kids for care between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We have identified a huge need,” said Terry Adams, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Weld County.
Adams and Larimer Clubs CEO Kaycee Headrick, told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the effort to help those on the front line was made possible by Banner Health. Banner Health first proposed the idea, and later offered to pay for the services done for children of Banner Health employees.
While Banner Health helped create the idea, and fund it, any first responder or medical worker in Weld and Larimer Counties is welcome to sign their child up free of charge.
“As it relates to COVID-19, we know there are young people who are the kids of health care professionals and first responders who have nowhere to go, and that puts them in a tough spot,” Headrick said. “(Anyone who works in those professions) from a nurse, to a doctor to custodial staff, we just want to help by making sure these people who need to be on the front lines. That their kids have the care that they need, so that these people can get to work and not have to worry about a safe place for their kids to go.”
Following CDC and state guidelines, the Boys & Girls Clubs in Northern Colorado will be following strict protocols to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among children.
“We are going to be operating in clusters of 10, or less,” Adams said. “We are going to be doing hourly hand washing. We are going to make sure we are doing this as safe as we possibly can.”
For those students who have education requirements to meet through virtual lessons, computers and WiFi will be made available to children as well.
“They can do that right at our club and our staff can help facilitate those lessons,” Headrick said.
The two participating counties will be opening two facilities each during the free care period. Parents are asked to provide snacks and lunches for their children, as the Boys & Girls Club doesn’t want to manage food during the pandemic.
Those qualified and interested in using the service is asked to pre-register their child by calling (970) 223-1709.
“It really is just one more example of how our communities are stepping forward and reaching out to young people,” Adams said.