CARY – Cisco is stepping up to meet the child care needs of healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Cary is one of the sites for the new program.

On April 26, the tech giant in partnership with #FirstRespondersFirst, will open four new special child care hubs to the children of first responders from infant to 12 years old.

That includes Bright Horizons at Harrison Park in Cary, located in close proximity to WakeMed, WakeMed’s Cary Hospital, UNC REX Hospital, and the Duke Raleigh Hospital. (Cisco operates one of its largest corporate campuses in Research Triangle Park, employing several thousand people.)

The other centers to open across the nation are in Birmingham, Alabama; Dallas, Texas; and San Jose, California.

“The #FirstRespondersFirst initiative allows Cisco to support the well-being of frontline healthcare workers who tirelessly keep our families healthy in the fight against COVID-19,” said Cisco Vice President of Human Resources Global Benefits Ted Kezios.

A girl playing with blocks at the Washington, D.C. #FirstRespondersFirst Bright Horizons center.

“While frontline healthcare workers in the Triangle area sacrifice themselves, they will have some peace of mind in knowing that their children will be in a safe and nurturing environment at Bright Horizons.”

In Cary, around 20 children of first responders will have access to Bright Horizons’ outdoor gardens, open-air learning areas and natural playgrounds. The initiative will last for eight weeks.

As one medical assistant Angel Marino can attest, it’s been a lifesaver.

“Now I’m able to work five full days and I’m able to sleep well at night knowing that my kids are going to have somewhere safe to be,” the Detroit-based single mom of three wrote on ThriveGlobal.

#FirstRespondersFirst is an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation.

“We have already seen the tremendous impact these special child care centers are having in other communities throughout the country, allowing parents to work while their children can be cared for and continue to grow and learn,” said Donna Gretkowski, Bright Horions’ group vice president of Central Operations.

“We believe that we will have a similar impact in the Triangle community.”