Claude Moore Precious Time: A Pediatric Respite Care Program (Serves Harrisonburg or Rockingham County)


Do you have a child with special needs?  Precious Time is a pediatric respite care program that provides caregivers a break.

Precious Time is a program coordinated by the James Madison University Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services. The success of Precious Time depends on community support and student service. Whether you are a family caregiver, a community member, or a student, you can be part of the Claude Moore Precious Time Program.

Precious Time provides the families of children with special needs an opportunity to take a break from the demands of caregiving.  JMU nursing students provide respite care as part of a student learning experience.

Each semester, students enrolled in a pediatric nursing course and a nursing elective are required to provide fourteen hours of respite care as part of course requirements.  They are assigned to a family and travel to their homes to provide the respite care services during the evening hours or on weekends.  The pre-health students work in pairs as a precaution for the safety of the child as well as their own.  Being in the home with a family who has a child with special needs teaches the students skills that are not taught in a classroom.

Activities that may occur during respite care are:

  • Helping with homework
  • Reading or playing board games
  • Playing outside or taking a walk
  • Special activities such as cooking or baking projects
  • Anything that you would like the JMU students to do with your child


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