Regional Enrichment Centers

Updates on Regional Enrichment Centers

After six months of emergency operation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) permanently closed for service on Friday, September 11, 2020.

Need Childcare? Beginning September 21, the Department of Education is offering childcare to eligible families through our Learning Bridges program—learn more on our Learning Bridges page.

What are Regional Enrichment Centers?

Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) were created to provide childcare for our city's essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March through the summer of 2020, RECs served thousands of children across all five boroughs, with sites in almost every school district, as well as near transit and healthcare hubs.

Staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners, the centers provided children with three daily hot meals, remote learning time with their teachers, and enrichment activities like art, music, and physical education, as well as social and emotional support.

Eligibility and Enrollment

REC enrollment is currently closed.  If you are interested in learning more about available childcare options, please visit the Learning Bridges webpage.

The DOE worked with other City agencies, unions, and partner organizations to help identify and contact families of first responders, health care workers, and key transit employees to offer emergency childcare opportunities near their homes.

From March through early September 2020, REC enrollment was open to children who were New York City residents and whose parents/guardians were identified as essential workers:

  • 1199, Child Care Fund 
  • 1199, United Healthcare Workers East 
  • 311 Call Center essential staff 
  • Board of Corrections
  • Building Staff, including both residential and commercial buildings
  • Corrections – Rikers
  • CWA (Communications Workers of America)
  • DC 37, Public Employee Union 
  • DCAS essential employee staff (including safety agents)
  • Delivery/Logistics Workers (e.g., UPS, FedEx, etc.)
  • Doctors Council 
  • FDNY 
  • Federation of Nurses
  • FexEd workers
  • Food/Restaurant Staff (including delivery staff)
  • Garment workers (PPE)
  • Greater New York Hospital Association 
  • Grocery store workers 
  • Healthcare Associate of New York State 
  • HPD essential staff
  • Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice essential staff, including contracted providers on site and in the field
  • MTA / New York City Transit Authority 
  • New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) 
  • New York City Probation Department essential staff 
  • New York State Nurses Association 
  • NYC Administration for Child Services essential staff, including staff, contracted providers on site and in the field, and foster parents
  • NYC Department for the Aging, including staff and contracted providers on site and in the field
  • NYC Department of Buildings inspectors/essential staff 
  • NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
  • NYC Department of Corrections essential staff 
  • NYC Department of Environmental Protection
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 
  • NYC Department of Parks and Recreation essential staff 
  • NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) essential staff 
  • NYC Department of Social Services essential staff, including staff and contracted providers on site and in the field
  • NYC Department of Education essential staff 
  • NYC Department of Education staff (including CBO partners) working at RECs and food hubs 
  • NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
  • NYC Ferry workers 
  • NYC Health and Hospitals 
  • NYC Human Resources Administration shelter staff 
  • NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner
  • NYC Office of Labor Relations 
  • NYPD 
  • Pharmacy workers
  • Other Healthcare Essential Staff
  • Other delivery/shipping
  • Office of Emergency Management 
  • Staten Island Ferry workers
  • United States Postal Service Workers
  • UPS workers
  • Utility Workers

REC Videos

Hear from NYC DOE substitute teacher, Joseph Foust and DOE principal and REC center supervisor, Bennett Lieberman to learn about REC sites.

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