The State of Indiana is encouraging communities to find ways to provide their essential medical personnel with much needed childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis. In response to this call to action, and after receiving a request from a local healthcare system, Kosciusko County’s Child Care and Early Learning Coalition, also known as LaunchPad, has partnered with other organizations to provide a solution to meet this need in our community.
On Monday, April 27th, an Early Childhood Alliance Pop Up Center will be opening at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. This center will provide Kosciusko County essential healthcare workers with a free, temporary childcare option. Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) is a non-profit organization that has been serving the early education needs of children across northern Indiana for 67 years.
The pop up center in Winona Lake will welcome up to 50 children of essential healthcare workers in Kosciusko County. The center will have a strict sanitation schedule and will follow the CDC and state social distancing guidelines. The children will be in groups of no more than 6-10 and the older children will have their own desk. Children and staff will be required to have their temperature taken each morning before they enter the building.
Temporary Solutions is contracted as the staffing agency and the staff members for the pop up center will be staff from the Children’s Department at Parkview Warsaw YMCA. All staff members have had thorough background checks and have experience working with children. ECA will be providing additional training to all staff members prior to opening the center. Sherry Searles, the Director of LaunchPad, will be acting as the Director of the pop up center and Rachel Hardy, the Director of Childcare and Inclusive Programming at Parkview Warsaw YMCA, will be the Assistant Director.
The Kosciusko County Community Foundation has donated funds to help make this pop up center a reality in Kosciusko County. Additionally, Warsaw Community Schools is donating desks and food through their meal program. Rabb Water Systems is donating water bottles and Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church has been very generous in offering their newly renovated children’s wing as the location for the pop up center.
The center will be open Monday-Friday from 6:00am-8:30pm. For more information about the Early Childhood Alliance Pop Up Center, contact Sherry Searles at firstname.lastname@example.org
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