When the Coronavirus caused Governor Doug Ducey to declare a Stay at Home Proclamation six weeks ago, he, working jointly with other state leaders like Superintendent of Instruction Kathy Hoffman, formed the Arizona Enrichment Centers. These centers have been designed to:
“…offer childcare for the children of first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers.”
Commenting on this at the time, Mr. Ducey said:
“Arizona is coming together to serve our frontline workers serving all of us. Through support including child care assistance and financial resources, we can help alleviate some of the stress and concerns that families serving on the frontlines are facing. I’m grateful to Superintendent Hoffman and all the non-profit, faith-based, and community organizations for partnering with us to make these resources available.”
Ms. Hoffman also offered:
“This initiative is critically important for the children and families of our first responders, healthcare workers, and other essential emergency personnel. I’m grateful for everyone that is stepping up to serve these families during this difficult time.”
On May 14, 2020, Governor Ducey, after successful lobbying by activist groups like the Arizona Children’s Action Alliance (CAA), has expanded the child care program to include children of grocers and food bank essential workers.
The program will also offer scholarships until July for families that need financial assistance to enroll their children at these center locations.
Governor Ducey commented:
“Arizona’s food bank and grocery store employees continue to step up to ensure our shelves are stocked and Arizonans have access to critical goods. This expansion is made possible by the continued partnership of child care providers across the state. My thanks to all our partners in the Enrichment Centers Program and the frontline workers helping to protect public health during COVID-19.”
Siman Qaasim, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Children’s Action Alliance, wrote in the CAA’s announcement of the Governor’s decision:
“This is a win for working Arizonans who are on the front lines; putting themselves at risk. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for your efforts to keep children safe while their parents work to help protect public health during the COVID-19 crisis.”
According to the Governor’s office:
“426 providers have registered as Enrichment Centers in 52 cities across the state;
3,318 families of critical health care and essential public sector workers have qualified for priority child care, and can now access the care that best fits their needs;
- And 2,321 families have qualified for a child care scholarship.”
This is what good government and public service are supposed to be about.
Imagine what could be done if all sides banded together like this on all the issues facing children and vulnerable families in the state.
For more information on the Arizona Enrichment Centers and how to register to attend one, please click on their website here.