LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- When Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses to close earlier this month, he did not mean child care facilities.
The governor’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Welfare worked together to keep the child care facilities open for health professionals and people who provide essential services.
“We knew that we were going to need folks on the front line in health care and essential services. So for them to get to work they would need to be able to drop their children off at child care,” said Elisa Cafferata, Deputy Administrator with the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Welfare.
The Department of Health and Human Services and child care centers across the valley now want parents to know that child care services are available for parents, whether they are considered an essential worker or not.
“It’s important for your folks to know that it’s not just childcare for essential workers and emergency workers. It’s for anyone who is working. There are slots available,” said Cafferata.
The number of children in child care at Imagination Station in Henderson has dropped due to the fact that many parents are now working from home, according to Imagination Station Corporate Liaison Brandi Garey.
“A lot of the county is not working so they are home. Some of them are still getting paid even though they’re not working so they don’t need the care,” said Garey.
Staff at Imagination Station are taking extra precautions during the shutdown of non-essential businesses.
New rules are in place at the station to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Previously, parents could walk their child to their classroom or play area, but that is no longer allowed.
“We’re actually stopping them at the front desk. We’re having our personnel take the children to the back of the house in the classroom. Before we take the child back, we take the child's temperature. They say bye to their mom up front and then they go their separate ways,” said Garey.
In addition, staff are taking the children’s temperature before allowing them to enter the main area of the facility.
Parents who drop their kids off at Imagination Station have noticed the difference.
“They limit the contact of the parents and kids inside the classroom you basically drop your kid of at the door now,” said parent Kyle Zimmerman.
Zimmerman works for UPS and is considered an essential worker.
“Unfortunately I don’t have any family that lives here in the valley. I’m originally from California, all of our relatives live in California, so it’s really essential that we have day care options,” said Zimmerman.
Child care costs depend on the age of the child and how often he or she needs services.
High quality, accredited child care services range between $900 and $1,300 per month.