With local schools going to distance learning, a Visalia hospital has developed a program to help support the children of its employees as they begin distance learning, so that employees can come to work and care for the community.
“We hope that this will help our parents with this very challenging situation and relieve a bit of worry and stress,” said Dianne Cox, Kaweah Delta’s Vice President of Human Resources.
On Monday, Aug. 17, Kaweah Delta will begin operating a program to assist children (ages 5-11) of employees, with distance learning from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on weekdays inside The Lifestyle Center (TLC). TLC is Kaweah Delta’s medically-based fitness center, which temporarily closed its doors on July 13 by State order. While it is anticipated that the program will continue at least for nine weeks, TLC will be able to re-open to its membership when the State lifts its order, while continuing to accommodate the children enrolled in the program, said Patrick Tazio, Director of TLC.
“We are looking forward to re-opening and will be able to do so as soon as we receive approval,” he said, noting that the learning centers for the students will be set up in the gym and conference rooms.
To date Kaweah Delta employees have placed 90 children on the list for the program, which is licensed by the State. Children will be grouped by age and will work with teachers from Kaweah Kids, Kaweah Delta’s childcare center, who have completed units in early childhood development. There will be one teacher for available for every 10 children and parents will work with teachers to help them understand the school requirements of their students. Teachers will also provide activities to keep children engaged. Students will bring cloth masks, a lunch, snacks, and computer equipment needed for distance learning. TLC will ensure regular handwashing by all and facility cleaning. Employees will pay a small fee based on their earnings for the first child they enroll and a reduced cost for each subsequent child.
“We know this is challenging time for parents and for children, so we are trying to do everything we can to support our team,” Kathryn Price, Director of Kaweah Kids. “We want to make sure that they have what they need so that they can be there to care for the community.”
The distance learning program is the latest effort Kaweah Delta has made to support its employees through the pandemic. Since the inception of the pandemic, Kaweah Delta provided employees with the opportunity to shop for groceries on campus and expanded child care services when local daycare centers began to close their doors. It also created an employee relief fund to help employees whose hours were cut as a result of the pandemic.
Kaweah Delta shares COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community on its website at www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19 and on its social media accounts.