“My manager called last week. Get ready to take care of children at night,” she said. Everything is already done, I said.
Alarm bells started to ring with me quite early. When the coronavirus advanced and measures were taken, I sensed everything: we have to do something. For all those people with crucial professions who have to keep working. Doctors, firefighters and women, police officers, nurses, paramedics. “
“My colleagues and I decided to provide childcare 24/7 at our location in Heerlen for children of parents with vital professions. So also at night. And on the weekends. There are parents who have to perform grueling twelve-hour shifts, grandpas and grandmas can don’t be careful anymore. They need our help. “
Beds and hugs
“We started cleaning, cleaning, redecorating so that we could add beds and put groups of children together. Of course IKEA was closed, but donated beds and cuddly toys.
A laundromat nearby washes the bed linen for free, someone came to bring laundry nets so that we no longer had to sort the laundry and again someone else offered to clean our toys. Beautiful, really beautiful. “
“We have been open for a few days now, the first sleepers have already been registered. A single nurse registered her daughter for evening care. She has to work in the hospital until 11 pm, would then pick up her child, and the next morning at 6.30 am to the shelter, then her next shift starts again.
Please let her sleep with us, we said to her: get your own sleep and trust us, we will take care of your daughter. That mother was filling up. “
“It is crazy to work in the evening and at night. We make it special with the children. There are streamers, we have welcome banners. It just depends on how you feel, I think. Do if you are spastic or panicked about it as an adult, yes, well, those little ones feel guaranteed. “
Together, together, together
“What I also find very special is that we do it together. Together with colleagues from the other locations that fall under our Humankind organization. And even staff from other childcare organizations help out. Competition no longer exists. We really do it with z ‘ n all. Hands together. The power of being together. I have goosebumps again when I tell about it. “
“If there is more demand, other locations in our region are ready to follow suit. We will also be called from the rest of the Netherlands. Do you have a scenario?” They ask. We help them where we can: in this we have to help each other in crazy circumstances.
And the more childcare centers do this, the more parents can rest. To go back to that front line the next day. “
“That is why our phone has been ringing off the hook for days. Administratively it is a big job, I still do a lot from home in the evening. It is also getting used to being open all the time. I am tired. Really broken. But at the same time I get very a lot of energy. So that can co-exist, strangely enough. “
Take care of yourself
“I take good care of myself. Eat fruit and vegetables, pay attention to whether I have health problems. I feel good. I try to give my three sons enough attention, we regularly have good kitchen table discussions. Also about this crisis that is now going on I think it is important to do that, I am also a mother.
But now I feel especially strongly that I have to do this work in the fight against corona. So when the kids are in bed, I open my laptop again. We all have to do our bit. This is my bit. “