Like much of the country, in March, Michigan was placed under a Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order due to COVID-19. All non-essential businesses, including many childcare centers, were closed, but many essential employees, such as those in health care, law enforcement and critical infrastructure, still needed childcare services so they could continue to go to work and serve.
St. Mary Child Care Center (SMCCC) in Livonia, Michigan, recognized that need and swiftly worked with the State of Michigan to obtain a provisional license to operate as a Disaster Relief Child Care Center. As such, SMCCC was able to remain open to serve those most in need, giving them peace of mind that their children would be cared for while they comforted and healed the sick, kept the state safe and provided essential services.
Program director Karen Mroczka said, "Keeping the doors of St. Mary Child Care Center open to essential workers during this pandemic was our way of giving back to the community, to serve where needed and live out our core values."
SMCCC also continued to serve their families who were quarantined at home by offering a Curbside Meals-to-Go program. Included inside the box lunch was a daily meal-time prayer and a little "surprise" – a coloring page, bubbles, playdough, stickers or a sweet note from a teacher. Gail C. Jones, business and marketing director, said, "This not only provided a hot meal for many of our families struggling financially, but gave the children a sense of normalcy to their day; a chance to have a familiar face greet them with an excited wave, to see a teacher smile and to hear a few words of encouragement.”
Gail praised the SMCCC staff “for their willingness to put others before themselves and serve. This is a true testament to their dedication to the Felician Sisters and the mission set forth by Blessed Mary Angela."
St. Mary Child Care Center is a ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America located in Livonia, Michigan. SMCCC has provided children with a healthy and happy preschool experience for nearly 30 years, offering infant, toddler, preschool and kindergarten readiness programs for children 2 weeks to 6 years of age. Visit their website at www.stmarychildcarecenter.org to learn more.