Workers at city-contracted childcare centers and after-school programs in the five boroughs have until Sept. 27 to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.
Employees at pre-k and 3k early learning, Cornerstone, and Beacon programs will need to provide documentation of a shot by the last Monday of the month — the same deadline Department of Education workers are required to have begun their vaccine series.
“We’re going to announce an additional vaccine requirement, not just for those who work in our DOE buildings, but also expanding to all city contracted childcare and after school staff,” de Blasio said at his daily press briefing Thursday morning, held remotely from City Hall.
“All of these are so important in protecting our young people, and we want them to be in a safe place.”
When asked, the mayor did not know the exact number of New York City-contracted childcare workers, but said the vaccine mandate will apply to “many thousands” of employees.
“Our families must be able to access safe, high-quality childcare,” said Tara Gardner, executive director of Day Care Council of New York. “The young children that the day care council members serve cannot be vaccinated, so it’s even more important that the adults that interact with them are vaccinated.
“We must all work together to ensure all adults we work with and who volunteer in early childcare situations are vaccinated.”
The mandate comes after de Blasio announced, on Aug. 23, an identical policy for all public school staff and teachers. Workers at public schools and childcare sites will not have the option to receive a weekly test in lieu of getting inoculated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, de Blasio said that the 700 public school buildings where children 12 and up learn will be home to in-school vaccination sites when students return to classrooms for the school year on Monday. He also rolled out a $35 million referral bonus program for doctors, to increase vaccination rates in low-income Big Apple neighborhoods where vaccination rates are comparatively low.
“This is going to make a huge impact,” said the mayor.