Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closing of Virginia schools, and the increased strain on our first responders, Hanover County has begun a day program for elementary school children of Hanover County public safety personnel.
The program is coordinated and supervised by Hanover Parks and Recreation, with support from Hanover County Public Schools, Hanover County Fire and EMS, Hanover Department of Social Services, Pamunkey Regional Library and staff from other departments. “In Executive Order 53, Governor Northam called for creative solutions to the day care challenge that many first responders may experience as a result of school closings,” said Jim Taylor, Deputy County Administrator. “We are pleased to support our public safety employees in this manner, so that they can continue to support our community.”
The County reached out to staff in public safety departments, including Hanover Fire and EMS, Emergency Communications, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Community Corrections, Pamunkey Regional Jail, and Ashland Police Department.
Program participants and staff must clear medical screening each morning upon arrival and follow frequent handwashing and cleaning routines throughout the day. The daily schedule includes dedicated time to complete their school assignments, along with arts and crafts, movie time and fun physically active activities throughout the day. According to program director Marcy Durrer, “this program is unique to any other department program, given the need for physical distancing for staff and participants, limited group size and duration of the program. However, we know how to work with children, and ensure their safety while having fun. We expect the children to be excited to return each day.”