Financial Assistance Available for Low-Income Healthcare Workers

Lake Area United Way Partners Provide Child Care for Healthcare Workers and First Responders

Frontline healthcare workers and first responders are essential fighters in the battle against COVID-19. Now that schools are closed, many are scrambling for child care. Lake Area United Way has partnered with Crossroads YMCA and several local child care providers to provide emergency back-up child care to healthcare workers and first responders beginning Monday, March 30.

The Griffith YMCA location is opening 100-150 child care slots for healthcare workers and first responders. Additional child care providers include Faith Child Care in Gary, Life Changers Early Learning and Aftercare STEAM Academy in Gary, and Happy Days Child Care in Highland and Merrillville.

“We’re grateful to healthcare workers and first responders,” says Jay Buckmaster, CEO of Crossroads YMCA. “This is our opportunity to support people that take care of the community.”

All healthcare workers and first responders are encouraged to contact the Griffith YMCA (219) 750-1082 or to enroll their children.

Lake Area United Way is offering financial assistance for child care to eligible, low-income healthcare workers while funds are available. To qualify, healthcare employees must be residents of East Chicago, Gary, or Hammond and work for Methodist Hospitals, Franciscan Hospitals, or hospitals in the Community Healthcare System. This funding is made possible through partnerships with The Foundations of East Chicago and NiSource Charitable Foundation. Hospital employees can contact their HR Departments for information and instructions on how to apply for financial assistance for child care.

“We are grateful to providers, foundations and corporations that have come to the table to meet a critical need at a critical time,” says Lisa Daugherty, CEO of Lake Area United Way. “We are only beginning to feel the effects of COVID-19. There is already a substantial increase in demand for child care, food, and rent. People are concerned about keeping their jobs and paying their bills.”

Lake Area United Way has established the NWI COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund to support families struggling to make ends meet due to the effects of the pandemic. You can contribute online at

Those essential service employers who would like to discuss emergency back-up child care for their employees can contact Lisa Daugherty at or 219-712-3601.

Lake Area United Way mobilizes the caring power of the community to help struggling, working families attain financial stability by (1) helping people access livable wage jobs, (2) supporting quality, affordable child care strategies that help working parents, and (3) funding providers who offer basic needs support for vulnerable, working families.