A new documentary called "Through The Night" takes a look at one facility in Westchester County, and it's a story we are highlighting for our Women's History Month celebration.
The film already won the Best Social Impact Award at the recent Greenwich International Film Festival, and Loira Limbal -- the single mother who made it -- said she wanted to throw a spotlight on the caregivers who have too often been ignored.
RELATED | What is Women's History Month, and why do we celebrate it?
It features Nunu and Patrick Hogan, a dedicated couple who work through the night running Dee's Tots Childcare for the working mothers of New Rochelle.
"They are among the few day cares that were not forced to close down during the pandemic," Limbal said. "They're caring for the people who can't stay home."
These are essential workers like Shinonna Tate, who is a registered nurse working the night shift in a pediatric emergency room.
They all depend on the two caring souls who run the facility, who have been married for more than 20 years and running the business just as long.
"Nunu is certainly the beating heart of the day care," Limbal said. "But Patrick is absolutely indispensable and critical."
RELATED | Shirley Chisholm broke barriers, paved way for those who followed her
The film was shot before COVID-19 began to spread, but the pandemic has made the issues it raises that much more urgent.
The reality is so many can no longer afford their services.
"It's a system that's beyond broken for everyone involved," Limbal said. "It doesn't make sense. The numbers don't add up on either end."
For parents, it's expensive. For operators like the couple in the film, it's hard to make a living. And the pandemic only added to those challenges.
"The strain of keeping the doors open, knowing at any moment COVID could be walking through the door," Limbal said.
They are heroic, yet never seem to get enough applause.
"People sometimes think of them as kind of glorified babysitters and don't see them as the skilled experts that they are," Limbal said.
RELATED: COVID pandemic taking women out of the workforce
That's why the Brooklyn based filmmaker has started the Essential Care Fund on GoFundMe to help the providers survive.
When "Through The Night" won the prize in Greenwich, it came with a $10,000 prize. Limbal donated the sum to help these unsung heroes.
CLICK HERE for more information and to learn how to donate.
* More Northern Suburbs news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip