Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Sittercity, America’s first online resource for in-home care, today announced a new initiative to help Chicago’s most essential workforce – healthcare workers, first responders and the teams who support them – continue to work on behalf of the City amid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A new, dedicated website – sittercity.com/chicagoresponds – will make it easier for workers deemed an essential part of the infrastructure helping Chicago stay safe, to find reliable childcare that will allow them to continue their crucial work.
Through this initiative, Sittercity will provide three free months of the Sittercity Premium service and will connect those on the frontlines of fighting this crisis with volunteers to help care for their families during this time.
“During this unprecedented challenge to our city, we need everyone stepping up and doing their part,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I applaud Sittercity for doing just that by providing a gateway to the critical childcare needed by our fellow Chicagoans working on the front-lines to stem the spread of COVID-19 and maintain essential services for our communities. As we have throughout our history, we will get through this crisis together as a united people, and ultimately grow stronger as a result.”
The website offers a way for thousands of Chicagoans who dedicate their lives to caring for children and who are unable to work while their primary workplaces are closed to pitch in. By connecting these residents with the families who need them the most, this program is building a bridge of care that will provide help in a time of great need.
“As a company full of working parents and former sitters, we understand the challenges facing first responders with schools and daycares closed,” said Elizabeth Harz, CEO of Sittercity. “By facilitating and managing the connections between families and caregivers, we are happy to do our part in supporting the work of the Chicagoans on the frontlines in the fight against this pandemic.”
Both those interested in volunteering, and those in need of childcare, can register on sittercity.com/chicagoresponds. Sittercity provides tools to help families build a childcare support network with detailed profiles, secure messaging, interview scheduling and background check options. Care seekers simply post a job to the platform detailing their needs – including dates, times, and the number and age of children. The job post is shared with available caregivers in the area who can choose to apply.
Mayor Lightfoot’s administration has started working with public and private partners, nonprofits and the philanthropic community to provide resources to all of Chicago’s residents, especially the most vulnerable of them. To ensure residents have access to basic services, the City of Chicago, working with the United Way of Metro Chicago and the Chicago Community Trust, launched the Chicago Community CVOID-19 Response Fund. The fund, which raised over $13 million in its first week alone, will direct emergency food and basic supplies, rent and mortgage assistance, and utility assistance to areas with the greatest need.
As COVID-19 escalates, the Lightfoot administration will continue to call on external partners to work in tandem with the local government to ensure the entire city is supported during this time. There are a number of ways the general public can get involved and help the COVID-19 response. Residents looking to volunteer or lend support can visit the City’s website.