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Discovery Center becomes daycare for healthcare workers

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A local nonprofit is closing its door in order to act as a daycare center for people who need it most at this time.

We know that schools will be closed until early April.

And some healthcare workers may need childcare if they want to continue working.

KOLR10’s Frances Lin visited the Discovery Center today, and they are shut down to the public to start a daycare specifically for kids of those healthcare workers.

“Right now, that community need is our healthcare workers to be at work,” said Rob Blevins, executive director at the Discovery Center, “that’s what’s going to save lives, is to make sure that they get the resources that they need, the help that they need.”

Blevins said the facility is a perfect fit to hold daycare, as it’s already designed for kids, “we have that very fun, exciting sort of mentality of what we do educationally, so we can take kids in, we can make sure they get fed, and we can make sure that their brains get fed.”

He said the daycare program is expected to start next Monday with about 10 kids per class.

And the goal is to make sure the kids feel at ease during this difficult time, “there’s a lot of stress going on with kids right now, and so these kids especially, they heard about the virus, they know their parents are going to help fight it, maybe we can make them have a great time. It could be upwards of 300 kids at $28 a day per kid to feed them three meals.”

He said the center is doing everything they can to support healthcare workers.

“I mean I’ve been taking phone calls today of healthcare workers and they say ‘hey, do I qualify, can I get childcare for my kid because I’ve got to get to work on Monday,'” said Blevins, “these are the people you trust to keep your kids alive, take them to a pediatric clinic, you want them there to be taking care of your kid. These are the people that are working in the ICU, I mean they need their kids taken care of so they can give life-saving care.”

He said for the Discovery Center to take in kids at maximum capacity, they’re going to need about $10,000 a day.

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