Apr 6, 2020 - Health

Health care workers' child care crisis

Illustration of keychain with regular key, child’s plastic key, and medical bag.

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

State and local governments are working to help medical workers and emergency responders fighting against the coronavirus outbreak who no longer have child care and day care centers for their children, AP reports.

By the numbers: 4.6 million health care workers are parents of children under the age of 14, according to the Center for American Progress.

  • About 15% of health care workers have children but don't have another family member to provide child care when schools close, possibly keeping some from going to work, a separate analysis shows.

Some state governors have allowed some child care centers to stay open for essential workers like employees in health care.

  • The New York City schools chief called for staffers to volunteer at emergency child care centers, per AP.
  • In Washington, D.C., six emergency child care centers were opened in late March to help children of health care workers, the Washington Post reports.

Other institutions and fellow nurses and doctors have created networks to take care of their colleagues' children in states with no other options.

  • Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio pledged $3 million toward care for the children of hospital workers in Connecticut.
  • Students at universities created contact sheets of people willing to provide care for clinicians' children whose child care services were shut down by the coronavirus, The Atlantic reports.
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