Today, Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman jointly announced a partnership to launch Arizona Enrichment Centers starting next week to offer childcare for the children of first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers. This announcement comes as school closures have been extended and other safety measures have been put into place to respond to the spread of COVID-19.
This initiative is made possible thanks to the strong leadership and partnership of several school districts across the state. With more expected to join in the coming days and weeks, several of our school leaders are already offering childcare services to provide much needed assistance to kids and families in their communities, especially critical workforce employees.
All school sites will follow the CDC Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs, the ADHS Childcare Facility COVID-19 Guidance, as well as guidance issued by local public health departments.
“This initiative will offer critical support for the women and men working on the front lines to respond to COVID-19,” said Governor Ducey. “We will continue to work with our outstanding school leaders all across Arizona to provide more capacity to serve these families.”
“This is just another way that our schools are stepping up to support our students and families right now,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “I’m grateful to the continued leadership from our school leaders, who are going above and beyond to provide critical services like meals, distance learning, social-emotional support and more to our students.”
Key things to know about the Student Enrichment Centers:
Children and staff/volunteers will have their temperatures taken upon entering the enrichment center – anyone with a fever will not be admitted.
Volunteers/staff at the enrichment centers will wipe down surfaces frequently with disinfectant.
Each room will not exceed a safe maximum of students, supported by at least one adult; this will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs.
Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s eligibility.
Districts are working to select schools in close proximity to hospitals to add convenience for health care workers.
Centers will be open Monday through Friday. Hours may vary by location.
The environment will be safe and supportive, and staff will be prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs. All staff will complete background checks.
Children will be allowed to bring remote devices so they can work on schoolwork while at the centers.
More information will be forthcoming over the next few days. At this time, if you have pressing questions please email AZEnrichmentCenters@az.gov.