Regional Enrichment Centers

Happening Now

  • Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) will be closing after Friday, September 11. At this time, we are no longer enrolling new students.
  • Please note that RECs are closed on Monday, September 7, for Labor Day.

Need Childcare? Beginning September 21, the Department of Education will be 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 have 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 provide children with three daily hot meals, remote learning time with their teachers, and activities like art, music, and physical education, as well as social and emotional support.

Learn more:

Get the REC Overview for Parents, available with all translations on the InfoHub.

Eligibility and Enrollment

  • REC enrollment is currently closed.
  • Need childcare? Learn about eligibility and enrollment for our Learning Bridges program.

The DOE has 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 who may need childcare opportunities near their home.

From March through early September 2020, REC enrollment was open to children who were New York City residents and whose parents/guardians worked in certain fields:

  • 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

If RECs reopen at any point, we will assess capacity and demand to determine eligibility to those most in need of this support.

Center Hours and Activities

  • Through Friday, September 11, Regional Enrichment Centers are open from Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Please note that RECs are closed on Monday, September 7, for Labor Day.
  • Each room has a maximum of 12 children, supported by at least one adult, allowing for personalized attention and meeting social distancing needs
  • During the school year, children participated in remote learning with their regular school, as was the case for all NYC public school students
  • Children are also given opportunities to engage in art, music, and physical education
  • The environment is safe and supportive, with staff prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs
  • Children were offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s role in providing essential services
  • During the school year, students were encouraged to bring a device they could use for remote learning.

Keeping RECs Safe

The health and safety of students and staff members remains our highest priority. All social distancing protocols have been followed at RECs, including:

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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