Essential worker day care

Little Lambs Owner and Director Carla Holtz received an emergency day care license Monday to care for children of essential workers.

Two day care facilities in Effingham have received their emergency licenses from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, according to Crisis Nursery of Effingham County Director Meghan Rewers.

Rewers said that as of Monday only Little Lambs Daycare and Effingham County Child Development Center have received their emergency licenses to care for the children of essential workers. She said Crisis Nursery, in partnership with HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, continues to be open.

“I got my approval today that we will be an emergency child care center, and I just received notification my insurance will continue to cover emergency child care,” Little Lambs Owner and Director Carla Holtz said Monday.

Holtz said a lot of her regular child care clients are now at home and do not need child care, with the exception of a couple of parents who are deemed essential workers under the stay-at-home order issued Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Holtz said at this time she has openings. Essential workers needing child care should call Holtz at 217-343-6289. The phone line will be monitored 24 hours a day.

Effingham County Child Development Center has also received an emergency child care license and has openings for specific essential workers, according to Director Shelli French.

“We do have a license and we are covered by our insurance provider,” French said.

French applied for the license through Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She said DCFS is expected to come to her facility to conduct a review within 72 hours.

French said if a facility was already licensed through DCFS, they can easily transition into the emergency licensing.

“At this time, we do have openings and we are screening families,” French said. “We are taking only critical care employee children at this time.”

French said that includes employees of the hospital, EMS, fire, police, long-term care, funeral homes and pharmacists.

“The list is very detailed as to what business you can work at and still bring your child here,” French said. “They have to have a specific occupation to receive child care.”

French said groups of children in day care under the emergency license is smaller than during normal operation. She said the maximum allowed in a group is 10 children and the same staff has to stay with the child all day.

“The guidelines are a little bit different and definitely more strict,” French said. “So, we are running our operations a bit differently than usual, but happy we can accommodate and help out during this critical time.”

French said the Effingham County Child Development Center is working closely with City of Effingham and Effingham County Health Department, along with local and county emergency management agencies.

French said her staff is working 12-hour shifts. The day care can be contacted at 217-342-3062.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

Reporter/Videographer

Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.

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