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Serving Essential Workers During Crisis

When schools and day cares closed, many essential workers were left scrambling for reliable childcare for their children so they could continue to run our hospitals, police and emergency services, grocery stores and supply chains, and more.
Fr. Doug McCurry, Rector of Legacy Anglican Church in Montgomery, AL shares about their decision to open their preschool as a childcare only for essential workers during the pandemic:

Legacy Anglican Church in Montgomery, AL has stepped up to the call to serve its community during the coronavirus crisis of 2020. Schools in Alabama have been closed for the rest of the school year. Non-essential businesses have been ordered closed until May. Most preschools in Montgomery have decided to close along with the school system and non-essential businesses.

Tara Harris, director of the Legacy Early Learning Center, responded to the need that arose — Where were the children of essential workers to go during this shuttering of businesses and schools? Ms. Tara compassionately made the case to stay open for our parents who work in healthcare, law enforcement, essential government jobs, and as grocery store employees. After consulting with the Governor of Alabama’s directives, it was decided to open the center to first responders, healthcare workers, and others.

Immediately 30 kids were enrolled on March 20th. Since then, 30 more have been added to the rolls. The preschool teachers that had been laid off were rehired, and the children are safe as they get readjusted to their “new normal.”

The local hospitals have sent a list of Day Cares that are open, and Legacy ELC is the only one on their list for Montgomery. The parents have expressed their gratitude for our decision to remain open. Twice a day, Ms. Tara takes the temperature of the children and the employees. Legacy ELC is looking forward to returning to a full center with 150 children. But until that time, children of essential workers are in a safe, structured environment.

If your church doesn’t have a daycare, churches could provide other options for essential workers in your congregation through college and high school students. Please see “5 Ways to Minister to Healthcare Workers Right Now” for ideas from a hospital chaplain and a hospital hospitality manager in our diocese.