The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many areas of life—child care in particular being one of the hardest hit for many local families.
Back in April, Governor Doug Ducey announced the official launch of Arizona Enrichment Centers to offer child care for the children of first responders, critical health care workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers. In May, the program expanded to offer prioritized child care for the children of grocery store employees and food bank workers. The program will continue to offer prioritized care and scholarships to eligible families through the end of July.
The initiative was made possible thanks to a broad network of child care providers and numerous state agencies, including the Arizona Departments of Education, Health Services, Administration, Economic Security, First Things First, and the Government Transformation Office.
“Arizona is coming together to serve our frontline workers serving all of us,” Governor Ducey says. “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 nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations for partnering with us to make these resources available.”
“This initiative is critically important for the children and families of our first responders, health care workers, and other essential emergency personnel,” says Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “I’m grateful for everyone that is stepping up to serve these families during this difficult time.”
About the Enrichment Centers
The state is working with Arizona Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R), a nonprofit organization that offers referrals to child care centers, to provide access to licensed child care facilities. The state is also working with local nonprofit, education, and faith organizations to provide families with additional resources and care options when licensed child care is not available. All child care sites follow the CDC Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs, the ADHS Childcare Facility COVID-19 Guidance, as well as guidance issued by local public health departments.
As of press time, 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 2,321 families have qualified for a child care scholarship.
Those eligible for child care through an Enrichment Center can register for priority child care eligibility and financial support by visiting arizonaenrichmentcenters.az.gov. A full list of approved child care facilities is also listed on the website and scholarships are available through the end of July. Questions can be e-mailed to [email protected]