Faith-based community to offer emergency child care for essential workers

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Faith-based organizations across Vigo County have joined together to offer emergency child care services for essential workers.

On March 13, it was announced that Vigo County Schools would temporarily stop holding traditional classes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Members of the local faith-based community say following this announcement their attention turned to the students.

“We realized that there were two problems that we were going to be facing in the community with the kids. That would be the lack of food and the lack of child care,” said Eleanor Ramseier, exec. director of Camp Navigate.

With the school corporation passing out thousands of meals a day, Ramseier says faith-based organizations decided to host an emergency childcare program for local essential workers.

“Maybe their husband works shifts, maybe they’re a single mom, a single dad, that just need it. That’s why we’re calling it emergency essential childcare,” Ramseier said.

According to Ramseier, around 11 different churches and ministries have come together to assist with the program, with four serving as child-care sites.

Jessica Ludke, member of The Bridge Church, says she hopes the program allows local children to have some normalcy in their life during this outbreak.

“I mean they’ve seen enough chaos, so the least amount of chaos so they can get into these places and have a good time. We’ll have crafts, activities and games,” Ludke said.

While helping children and parents is key, Ramseier says the program will be operated with safety first in mind.

“We don’t want a lot of children in one spot. So we’re actually going below what the state standard is right now. We’re not going to allow more than 15 —in one location— and some of us even less than that,” Ramseier said.

Ramseier says children will have their temperatures checked upon arrival to the child care sites each day.

If their temperature is over 100.4 they will be sent home with their parent.

She also says that a nurse has recently joined the childcare network and that a donation will allow the organizations to purchase touchless thermometers.

Cost of the child care program is $40 per child per week and is expected to last 8-9 weeks, but groups are preparing in case that services are needed longer than that.

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