Hospital offers sick day care to staff, community
Thomasville Medical Center is offering a service that normally would not be found elsewhere for parents with sick children and no child care.
TMC’s Well Watchers program is designed to provide parents with an alternative when their child is too sick to attend school or day care and they need to be at work. They accept children ranging from 3 months to 12. The center is open Monday thru Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“We had a lot of demand from the community to do something for sick children. As the economy got tighter, there was more of a demand for that,” said Nancy Hollis, director of Well Watchers. “If a child was too sick to go to their regular day care arrangement or to school, we would take care of them for the day. When children are asked to be out, it can become problematic for a working parent. Well Watchers would be a place that they can recover.”
The program began in June 2010 and averages about six children a day between the community and Novant employee children. The day care accepts children who have fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, colds, flu and sprains or broken bones. Hollis said while the child-to-teacher ratio is low, the day care’s health regulations are much more stringent.
“In our setting, we do not use carpets because they tend to trap bacteria. Everything has to be washable and cleanable,” Hollis said. “We use very stringent regulations, and there are some things that we just can not accept. This gives parents an option when they know that their child is not all the way better or that they may relapse in a setting that is appropriate for the child.”
To use the Well Watchers program, parents must pre-enroll their children and provide immunization records before sick care is provided. Parents can then call and reserve a space for their sick child.
“Parents seem to really enjoy the fact that the day care is here,” Hollis said. “It takes away some of that stress of being a working parent when you know your child has a place to go. When your not trying to decide between your work or your child, it takes some of that heat off.”
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Tuition may be paid at the hospital’s cashier’s office for child care and are as follows:
• Four hours or less: $6 a day
• Five hours to eight hours: $12 a day
• More than eight hours: $18 a day
For more information, contact the day care at (336) 476-2742 or (336) 476-2522.