Worries Concerning Childcare During COVID-19 Shutdowns

A+%22closed%22+sign+being+put+on+display+in+the+window+of+a+business.

"Closed as in Sorry" by cogdogblog is licensed under CC0 1.0

A “closed” sign being put on display in the window of a business.

Katey Goins, Co-Creative Editor

Closing down for business.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to the closing of the much relied on schools and daycares. 

The closing of schools and daycares due to the COVID-19 outbreak has left many parents to their own devices when finding childcare for the next two weeks at least. Parents have been left with the stress of finding someone who is responsible for both the well-being of their children and their education. Along with these shutdowns, those who are now accountable for the education of children have a new or stronger appreciation for public educators.

The initial concern for most parents when they heard that schools and daycares were closing was evidently childcare for the next two weeks. Most parents are reliant on either schools or daycares to be responsible for their kids while they work. With both of these resources shutting down people are having to find new help and ways to keep their kids stimulated. “My kids went to daycare Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My husband watched them Tuesday and Thursday. It wasn’t that hard to find arrangements because my mom doesn’t work. My mom is getting activities that my three year old can do like painting cars and coloring,” said Maddie Ramsay.

With schools closing but education still continuing through NTI, much more has to be considered when finding a place for children to go during the day. Not only are parents having to find someone to watch their kids during the day but they also had to find someone that they trusted enough to be in charge of their kids education. “Homework is probably the hardest part of this. I am not able to homeschool during the day so my parents are having to help. They are not very big enforcers when it comes to the kids, so I am not sure how much school they are actually doing during the day. I feel like I am not a part of it. So at night after dinner, I try to review what is in their packet,” said Kim Clark.  

Although NTI is only in place for two weeks, it isn’t out of the question that it could be extended for a longer period of time, which sparks other worries among parents. “Homeschooling for the rest of the year is a big concern for me. I am not able to be there everyday, nor am I a teacher, so I feel like their education will be impacted. I want my children to succeed and I do not believe this will be beneficial to them,” said Clark.  

Given the situation parents are in a shift has been seen in recognizing teachers. “I have always appreciated teachers, but this experience has definitely made me appreciate them more. I just have two kids to deal with. These teachers have 26 kids to keep focused,” said Clark.

Social media has also made it a point to bring attention to the work teachers do everyday. User @rogermacginty tweeted out on Twitter, “I am 30 minutes into homeschooling my six year old. I suggest that all school teachers are paid £1m per year from now on.”

Another tweet from user @Johnubacon states, “If we didn’t fully appreciate teachers before, we’re about to.”

Despite the hardships, the challenges that parents are experiencing has shown a new sense of community and people coming together, no one is alone. “My advice for other parents would be is don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all in this together. Talk to your employer about modifying your schedule or come up with a plan that works best. Talk to your friends and see if they anyone who would like to help. Word of mouth goes a long way. Since daycares are closing, there may be employees of those daycares that would like to babysit at your home. There are more and more resources becoming available as the days go on,” said Clark.