LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced a new initiative to support all hospital workers and their families to ensure that no essential worker has to miss a shift due to a lack of childcare.
“We love you and we support you and we are indebted to you, but words of gratitude aren’t enough,” Garcetti said. “That’s why I’m committed to making sure you have all the tools that you need, the personal protective equipment, the gear that you need to make sure you don’t become another statistic in this fight against COVID-19.”
The Los Angeles Emergency Child Care Initiative provides hospital workers three options for securing child care in the wake of the pandemic.
The first option is a $100 per shift stipend that workers at participating hospitals can apply for to help cover the cost of care.
“And wherever possible, we encourage you to use this stipend to help your kids stay at home or in the home of a trusted relative or neighbor,” Garcetti said.
Hospitals must commit to make the full stipend available to all nonprofessional employees and prioritize low-wage workers.
The second option offers hospital employees referrals to licensed providers in their communities, giving workers access to three high-quality matching services.
“We know that many hospital workers across Los Angeles are struggling to find access for care for their children,” Garcetti said. “And we know that’s especially tough for lower-wage folks and non-clinicians.”
And the final option offered for workers is a city-run service that will provide care for children between the ages of 6 and 14 at city recreation centers in neighborhoods near participating hospitals.
“So if you don’t have an option at home or in your neighborhood, we’ll make sure you have one close to work,” Garcetti said. “And you know that your child is safe and close by.”
The first five recreation center facilities, staffed by recreation professionals, will open Monday, April 13 and will provide care seven days per week from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
“As you know, these are not regular work hours, but this is no regular crisis,” Garcetti said. “And each center will offer programming and meals and will adhere to public health guidelines.”
Garcetti said the city hopes to expand the program as the need arises in the coming days and weeks.
Those interested in any of the programs should talk to their hospital’s human relations department.
“I know that non-medical health workers are facing the same childcare challenges, and we are working around the clock to provide the solutions for you,” Garcetti said. “We owe that to you because of what you are doing for us.”