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Comments OffMarch 27, 2020by Abigail Allard

Emergency Child Care Program Information

emergency child care
emergency child care

Brigham Center Exempt Emergency Child Care Program

During these unprecedented times, the Brigham Community Center is responding to the critical need for child care services for emergency personnel.

Effective Monday, March 30, beginning at 7:00am, the Brigham Community Center will provide childcare for emergency personnel who do not have the option to work from home, as defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs (EECCPs) will support essential workers and vulnerable families that have no other option for childcare services (e.g., family members). Families should be seeking alternative non-group care settings for childcare to abide by social distancing during this public health emergency. EECP providers, authorized through a unique request and approval process by EEC, are required to prioritize vulnerable children and children of families who must work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Brigham Community Center has been supporting children and families for over 100-years here in the Berkshires, impacting countless and moving families toward successful futures. We are proud to be able to offer EECCP for families in the greatest need here in our community during this time of great crisis.

Days: Monday – Friday

Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm

Location: 165 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Contact: 413-442-5174 ex 10

Capacity: 40 (First Come/First Serve)

EXEMPT EMERGENCY CHILD CARE PROGRAM INFORMATION

Essential Personnel Include:

COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.

Information for parents and guardians about EECCPs:

  • EECCPs will be funded by the Commonwealth and families will not pay enrollment fees
  • Services will be on a drop-in basis only and will not be operating under current childcare enrollment processes
  • Days of Operation: Monday-Friday 7:00am – 5:00pm
  • Guardians are required to contact the EECCP to confirm whether there are available slots, prior to traveling to the EECCP
  • At drop off, guardians will be required to sign a legal waiver and complete required medical forms for their child to attend the EECCP. Call ahead and a enrollment packet will be emailed to you or you can find a link to the packet here, EEC Emergency Child Care – Parent Packet.GABCC
  • It is imperative that the forms are filled out completely in order for acceptance into the program.
  • EECCPs will have the discretion to accept or deny families due to resource constraints
  • Transportation will not be provided to EECCPs
  • Guardians must pick up their children by 5PM every day.
  • Food Options – We are working to provide breakfast and lunch through Pittsfield Public Schools, but suggest you provide meals until we confirm otherwise.
  • There is no need to pre-register, it is drop-in First Come/First Serve, but all forms must be completed first. EEC Emergency Child Care – Parent Packet.GABCC
  • To reduce the wait at drop off please complete the form prior to drop off the first day. If you do not have the forms complete when you arrive, you will be handed a packet and asked to return to your vehicle to complete the packet.
  • Drop off will take place at the main entrance on 165 East Street.
  • All parents/caregivers must check their temperature and that of their child/ren prior to arrival. In order to ensure the health and safety of the program, you will be subject to temperature check at the time of drop-off.
  • We MUST have a contact number at drop off, where you can be reached immediately should there be an emergency. Be prepared to share this number at drop off.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does my child need to have been previously enrolled in the Center’s child care program to participate?

  • No. The program is for Essential Personnel, including COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.

Will I be required to pay to enroll my child at an Exempt Emergency Program?

  • No. The Commonwealth will fund the operation of these programs.

Will emergency child care workers get priority testing for COVID-19?

  • Yes. DPH Staff will prioritize emergency childcare workers that are exposed or symptomatic for testing of COVID-19.

Will educators working in these programs be tested for COVID-19 before beginning work?

  • Based on the available science and the high demand for testing, at this time DPH is not recommending proactive testing.
  • EECCPs will be implementing a strict Health and Safety Protocol that includes things like requiring that anyone who works with children take their temperature every morning before coming to work. And if any children or educators in these programs begin to show symptoms of COVID-19, they will be expedited for testing and the protocol will lay out immediate steps to mitigate further exposure.

Will we be provided with the necessary safety materials (gloves, masks, wipes, etc.)?

  • Child care workers will not be able to receive personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) given the significant shortages across the state. These need to be reserved for healthcare workers who are regularly interacting with people with active COVID-19. However, we are problem-solving how to get hand sanitizer/soap/disinfectant sprays deployed to EECCPs.