St. Lucie County secures grant to cover childcare costs for first responders, medical workers

Posted at 12:18 AM, Mar 28, 2020

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — There are new efforts to support the men and women on the front lines of the coronavirus.

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical professionals, and other essential employees are putting in a lot of hours. Now, they’re getting help to make sure their focus can stay on their jobs and not stress at home.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky announced Friday that the county secured a $100,000 grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation, awarded to The Community Foundation of Martin- St. Lucie’s COVID-19 response fund.

It will help cover the costs of childcare for first responders and healthcare workers through the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County.

“It’s one less thing for them to worry about,” said Will Armstead, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County.

The grant will help pay for daily childcare costs, overnight childcare costs, and help staff keep their jobs.

Armstead said they will also be able to make sure children and staff are safe.

“Making sure we have two of our staff with 8 kids and the right amount of distance. We’re going above and beyond making sure there’s even more distance,” Armstead said.

Children will also have help logging on to virtual school which starts Monday statewide.

Dzadovsky said the grant should guarantee childcare costs are covered for at least one month.

“It depends on how far coronavirus wants to linger on. If it stays long, we’re going to need more support,” Armstead said.

“We rise above and the citizens of this community have always done that. I’m a little emotional today because this is important for us to get it right,” Dzadovsky said.

Dzadovsky said community members and business owners can also sponsor a child’s childcare to help extend how long the service can be free for those families.