Support Our Youth and Families June 2020 - Page 5

The FIND! search tool has been such a success that one month after the launch, it has been nationally lauded as a best practice for coordinating childcare across the state. The State of Texas launched a similar tool with the same technology just one week later using emergency funds for “Frontline” workers. Since the two systems use the same platform, someone who lives in Dallas or Denton counties can easily access available childcare options through the FIND! search tool, even though it was originally built specifically for Tarrant County. As the importance of childcare continues to surface as a major aspect of post-COVID workforce recovery efforts, other states and communities are beginning to create access points for parents to find childcare availability in their communities. While the innovative FIND! Child Care Search Tool was developed due to an urgent need to provide essential workers accurate information on childcare near their home and work in Tarrant County, the plan is for it to serve as a long-term resource for working parents across Tarrant County as the public health threat of coronavirus changes over time. “We were thrilled to be able to launch this in short order during our community’s response to COVID, as it not only met the need of working parents searching for safe and accurate availability information to inform their childcare decisions but also the childcare providers that were trying to keep their business open while fulfilling a significant community need. Because of the feedback we’re receiving from parents and providers and our longer-term goals of ensuring that parents are connected with key local resources, we intend to keep this tool in place for the long-term to support working parents and childcare providers who want to ensure quality outcomes for children,” Peña added. To find available childcare for essential workers, visit ARLINGTON JOINS “PLAY BALL” INITIATIVE Arlington: The American Dream City ® is partnering with Major League Baseball and the United States Conference of Mayors for the Play Ball initiative. The program focuses on the sport and encourages sustained participation for years to come. Play Ball also serves as a platform to connect with those who are currently involved in the game, while also providing alternative ways for those looking to get involved, with a specific focus on youth participation. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams has committed to participating in Play Ball events focused on both baseball and softball. The program also includes at-home exercises to instill a love for the game while families social-distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The program will also receive support from the Texas Rangers when the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins.