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SF Extends Emergency Child Care Until June 2nd

San Francisco now provides child care for health care workers and first responders through end of school year
By - posted 4/9/2020 No Comment

San Francisco Extends Emergency Child and Youth Care Until End of School Year

Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Recreation and Park Department will keep centers open until at least June 2nd to provide care for children of health care workers, first responders, and other essential City employees.

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that San Francisco’s emergency child and youth care centers will remain open until at least June 2nd to provide a safe place for children of first responders, health care workers, and essential City employees. The extension comes after the San Francisco Unified School District announced this week that public schools will not reopen until the fall.

Read the full press release

The emergency child and youth care centers are part of the City’s efforts to support essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency care, which began on March 16th, is provided at 28 locations across the city to children from kindergarten through eighth grade. The centers are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to support health care workers in public and private hospitals and clinics who work 12‑hour shifts.

The emergency care centers are operated in partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF). Dedicated recreation professionals operate these facilities, providing a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including sports, art and STEM projects. DCYF provides three meals a day to all participants.

With the current school year affected by the City’s Stay Home Order, Recreation and Park staff will support schools’ distance learning initiatives by providing workspace, study time, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity at select emergency care facilities. Teachers and school officials are in communication with childcare staffers about students’ learning goals.

Feedback from participating families in the program has been positive. Omoyeni Animashaun said she is relieved to know her 6-year-old son receives high quality care at Potrero Hill Recreation Center while she works nearby at San Francisco General Hospital.

The service is offered to employees of San Francisco-based hospitals and clinics, employees of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, City employees activated as Disaster Service Workers, other essential City workers, and low-income families on the Recreation and Park Department’s scholarship list.

In addition to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department sites, Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, TEL-HI Neighborhood Center and the YMCA of San Francisco have joined the City’s efforts and are providing 230 emergency child and youth care slots serving ages 0-17 across 11 location sites.

The Public Health Order issued on Monday, March 16 and extended on March 31 requires San Franciscans to stay home, except for essential needs. Health care workers and other essential providers are exempt from the Order because their work is necessary to respond to COVID-19.

The Order allows childcare facilities to operate if they serve parents who work in essential businesses and comply with the following conditions to the extent possible:

  • Children must be cared for in stable groups of 12 or fewer.
  • Groups of children may not mix with each other.
  • Providers may not circulate between groups.
  • Common areas may be shared by multiple groups, however their use of these areas should be staggered as much as possible.

Recreation and Park Department’s emergency child and youth care centers follow social distancing and related COVID-19 sanitation and hygiene recommendations. Sites are limited to 12 children per site for smaller facilities and 24 children for larger facilities, split into two groups of 12 that do not interact, in accordance with the Order.

The Department of Human Resources is conducting outreach to Department of Public Health staff and Disaster Service Workers about the emergency childcare program. The Recreation and Park Department and the Department of Emergency Management are working together to conduct outreach to hospital and health care clinic staff.

For more information on the City’s Emergency Child Care Program, visit dcyf.org/care.

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about the order at SF.gov/coronavirus.

Other Public Health Orders and recommendations from DPH can be found at sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp. Mayoral declarations regarding COVID-19 can be found at sfmayor.org/mayoral-declarations-regarding-covid-19.

For more information, you can also call 311. For official updates, sign up for the City’s alert service: text COVID19SF to 888-777.