In order to successfully fight COVID-19, our first responders, health care providers, transit workers, and other key personnel must be able to come to work. That is why we have created Regional Enrichment Centers—places where the children of these front-line workers can be safely cared for while their parents continue to serve the city in this time of need.
Staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners, the centers will provide children with three daily hot meals, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art, music, and physical education, and social and emotional support.
Beginning Monday, March 23, Regional Enrichment Centers are opening across every borough, with at least two sites in every school district.
Get the REC Overview for Parents, available with all translations on the InfoHub .
Eligibility and Enrollment
The DOE has been reaching out to other City agencies, unions, and partner organizations to help identify and contact families of first responders, health care workers, and key transit employees who will need to send their children to the Regional Enrichment Centers.
With these partners, we are working to alert families about this opportunity and to help register the children for a site near their home. If you think you might be eligible to send your child to a center near you, please complete this survey:
Regional Enrichment Centers are open only to children who are New York City residents and whose parents/guardians work in the certain fields. As enrollment progresses, we will assess capacity and demand and will work to expand eligibility to additional essential personnel and children most in need of this support.
Who Can Apply
- 1199, Child Care Fund
- 1199, United Healthcare Workers East
- 311 Call Center essential staff
- CWA (Communications Workers of America)
- DC 37, Public Employee Union
- Doctors Council
- Federation of Nurses/UFT
- Greater New York Hospital Association
- Grocery store, pharmacy, and food workers
- Healthcare Associate of New York State
- MTA / New York City Transit Authority
- New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
- New York City Probation Department essential staff
Center Hours and Activities
- Regional Enrichment Centers will be open from Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm
- Each room will have a maximum of 12 children, supported by at least one adult; this size will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs
- Children will have the opportunity to participate in remote learning with their regular school, as is the case for all NYC public school students
- Children will also have opportunities to engage in art, music, and physical education
- The environment will be safe and supportive, and staff will be prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs
- Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s role in providing essential services
- Students will be asked each day to bring a device they can use for remote learning if one is available to them.
Keeping RECs Safe
The health and safety of students and staff members remains our highest priority. All social distancing protocols will be followed at RECs, including:
- maintaining 6 feet of distance between people
- limiting classrooms to fewer than 9 students
- regular cleaning and disinfecting all sites
- anyone who is sick should stay home
Sign up to Work at a Center
If you are an NYC DOE staff interested in volunteering to work at a Regional Enrichment Center to support the families of those who do so much to make all of us safer, please complete this survey to volunteer.