Remember, too, children of first responders
As a police chief, I would like to thank the brave men and women on the front lines fighting the coronavirus crisis. I credit law enforcement officials, health care workers, and other essential employees for taking persistent, heroic actions to serve the public in unprecedented, frightening circumstances.
Of course, it's not only these essential workers who are impacted by their call to help us through this crisis. It's also their children. While essential workers go to the police station, hospital, grocery store or gas station and help keep our communities safe from the fallout felt by COVID-19, child care facilities are necessarily closing to comply with social-distancing measures. Meanwhile, these essential and emergency workers may have children left at home, without known options for child care.
If you are a first responder or essential worker, please know that state leaders are working with local child care providers to reopen care for your kids, wherever possible: if you have a child that needs care during this crisis, find help by dialing 888-228-1146 or visiting https://emergencycare.inccrra.org.
As a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois, an organization of 350 law enforcement leaders, I know that high-quality, early childhood education and care efforts do more than keep our children safe in the short-term while parents are working; they also have long-lasting effects. When kids start out on the right foot with the help of such services, research shows that they are more likely to have successful, productive adulthoods and less likely to commit crimes down the line.
I strongly encourage our state leaders to remember all of Illinois' kids -- including those whose parents are currently sheltering at home -- when considering further measures to help us through this crisis and beyond it.
Robert Marshall, Chief
Naperville Police Department