DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Lakecia McGraw is an essential worker in the medical field. She’s an integral part of the support doctors and nurses on the front line need. Dropping her son off at United Rehabilitation Services for the first time in a month is a huge relief.
“I’m already stressing about things at work so to make sure I’m not stressing out about my kid’s child care it means a lot,” McGraw said.
URS is a huge part of her son Maurice’s routine. While McGraw’s six-year-old daughter was able to understand her school and child care’s closure, 18-year-old Maurice had a tougher time taking it in.
“He kept asking about going to URS, when am I going to go to school, when am I going to go back to aftercare. So today, when I dropped him off, I was so happy that he was happy. He was excited,” McGraw said.
A temporary Pandemic Child Care license allows URS to offer child care and adult day programming for essential workers like Mcgraw. The organization says they are “also supporting our Early Head Start and Head Start families by providing ideas for activities and supplies such as diapers, wipes and formula.”
“We support individuals with disabilities and their families every day, working families. But, this is something special for us to be able to do,” Dennis Grant, executive director for URS.
There are usually 90 children and 200 adults enrolled in URS programs. Right now, there are six children and five adults receiving services.
Grant said, “We’ve been able to overcome a lot of the challenges just by being committed to the cause.”
After a four week closure, they’re looking at potential funding issues down the line.
“It’s going to be a while until we’re up to full speed on any of our programs,” said Grant.
For now, they’re focusing on continuing to serve families and keep them safe.
“We screen not just our staff when they come in, we screen each child. We’re taking their temperature. We’re interviewing the parent. We’re taking the parent’s temperature,” Grant explained.
They are making adjustments to programs like offering online telehealth therapy appointments.
“We continue to provide the intake process, provide supports and career exploration remotely and really give those kids the head start and keep those kids busy while they’re out of school,” said Grant.
All this to ensure they are providing the best possible help to children and adults of all abilities.