ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County has announced plans to provide child care to local workers deemed to be essential.

County Administrator Jason Molino issued an executive order on March 17, directed all state-licensed daycare centers in Tompkins County close through April 13.

The Child Development Council was consulted in the making of that decision and has established a plan to accommodate the child care needs of those individuals who are deemed essential personnel. Health care and emergency service employers are identifying their essential personnel and notifying the Child Development Council about who qualifies for this referral, according to a release from the county.

The following child care is available upon referral:

  • Two licensed daycare centers will re-open to serve only the children of essential personnel; they will reduce their class sizes by half.
  • Registered family child care and licensed group family child care have been surveyed for openings and willingness to enroll additional children.
  • The Child Development Council is in communication with individual teachers who are not currently working at their childcare or school-age childcare program who are willing to provide independent contracting or “nanny” services in their home or in the children’s home. These teachers have background checks as a result of their prior employment.
  • All child care providers and locations will take necessary precautions to slow the spread of germs through cleaning, handwashing, and other hygiene practices.

Essential personnel can call the Child Development Council at (607)-273-0259 and leave a message or email at for information on childcare. A Referral Specialist at the Child Development Council will return the messages.

The Child Development Council says that it will continue to evaluate and adjust the child care plan as necessary to best meet the child care needs of essential health care workers and emergency personnel.