Broome County opens daycare for essential workers

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ENDWELL, NY – Broome County is getting into the daycare business in an effort to make certain that essential personnel can continue to report for work.

Broome officials announced today that childcare will now be provided during the week at the Broome West Senior Center in Endwell for county employees and healthcare workers Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The partnership between the Department of Social Services, Office for Aging and Broome County District Attorney Mike Korchak came together quickly over the last few days.

DSS will determine which eligible workers lack daycare options, OFA staff will care for the children and the DA will provide School Resource Officers to keep everyone safe.

There are currently twenty children signed up, but the facility can hold as many as fifty.

DSS Daycare Supervisor Jen Skinner says they’re limiting the size so as to create enough space for social distancing.

“I know a lot of parents are very concerned with continuing to send their children to childcare centers during this crisis. So, we’re trying to balance the safety of the children as well as making sure our essential personnel can continue to do their jobs in the community,” she says.

Skinner says the county has identified two other facilities that could be turned into daycares if needed, the Yesteryears within the Binghamton Housing Authority building downtown and the Vestal Senior Center.

And she says other non-essential county workers could be repurposed to help staff the sites.

Garnar says he’d be open to opening the service up to first responders and other essential workers from local municipalities.

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