Crisis nursery offering more space, needs community’s help

SPOKANE, Wash – A Spokane child care resource dedicated to helping families in crisis is answering the call for more kids in need during the coronavirus pandemic, but the organization needs the community’s help.

Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has been a resource for families in Spokane for 33 years. The organization knows that families are desperate for child care options right now and that with families at home for an extended period of time, compounding stress can lead to abuse and neglect.

Since this crisis began, the nursery has been increasing capacity to take care of up to 40 children per day in the new facility on East Sprague. The organization is worried about the increasing costs associated with that expanded care.

In a news release sent Wednesday, Executive Director Amy Knapton Vega said budget projections indicate that “for each week we increase to 40 children per day, unbudgeted expenses could be as high as $11,000.”

The organization also has to consider postponing two upcoming fundraisers because of the coronavirus. Those events make up 10 percent of the budget, or $255,000.

Vanessa Behan wants anyone who can help support their mission to donate. You can do so at this link to their website. For those who can’t donate, they appreciate the support through sharing the need through social media posts.

The organization also offered these tips for people choosing child care during this time – and always:

How well do I know this person?
• What is this person’s experience with children?
• What is their experience with age-appropriate expectations?
• How many children will they be caring for at one time?
• Where will they be cared for – is the environment child-proofed (are there guns in the house; chemicals locked up; etc.)
• Is this person CPR certified?
• How do they handle stress- what support system do they have if they get overwhelmed in the moment?

RELATED: Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in need of supplies

RELATED: A list of local stores participating in senior and at-risk shopping hours

READ: Here’s where you can pick up meals for your kids while school is closed