Licenced day care and child care centres across the country will be given $50,000 to ensure they are COVID-19 ready to care for children of essential workers during this time.
This new initiative is being rolled out by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. There are 240 licensed day care centres in the country of which 124 have already received the assistance from the ministry.
Additionally, the ministry will be paying a $20,000 fee for every child; this payment will be made directly to the day care centres to assist parents of all categories, including security officers, vendors, sale persons, healthcare workers and other essential and frontline workers.
“It is a licenced registered day care that will be open to this initiative and the ministry is paying directly to the day care services. We know that the essential or frontline workers have issues of where to leave their children safe so this is our effort towards this,” Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud revealed on Thursday.
Parents can apply via online through the ministry’s website or fill up a form at the various centres across the country to benefit from this initiative.
Director of Social Services, Wentworth Tanner, who is also responsible for the rollout of the initiative, said this is a special intervention that will only be available during the pandemic.
Tanner explained that all day care operators were trained by the Ministry of Health and were also advised of systems they have to put in place to protect the children from COVID-19.
“There will be testing from the door and all mechanisms as they go through the process so even if a child gets sick at the centre there is a mechanism in place to be able to address situations like that,” Tanner said.
It was further noted that all care providers at the centre will be required to do a COVID-19 test prior to opening and caring for children.