As stay at home orders are gradually lifted across the country, many parents are going to be in a predicament regarding how they will manage childcare when they are required to go back to their workplace.
Here are a few ideas to help you manage childcare while schools and school-age programs are closed:
- Contact childcare businesses in your area. Even if you did not previously use a childcare/daycare center, there may be some in your area that have openings in the short term.
- Ask your employer about creating a temporary children’s room. Your employer could hire short term childcare to watch children at your place of work.
- Ask your employer about flexible work options. Ask if remote work, flexible hours or compressing the work week are feasible alternatives.
- Know your options. Look into whether your employer offers long term leave if needed to care for children or family members who are sick.
- Coordinate with neighbors. Ask friends and neighbors if you can swap childcare with them to balance each other’s work schedules.
One thing is certain – do not leave children unattended at home who are not of a responsible age to be left alone.
Additional Childcare Resources for Healthcare Workers
If you are a healthcare worker, some gracious students have stepped up to help healthcare workers with childcare needs.
- Healthcare Workers Childcare Co-op:
- This list is on-going and changing regularly. As of April 24, 2020, the cities included are: Philadelphia, St. Louis and Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont: www.hcwchildcareco-op.com/
- COVID Sitters:
- Greater Portland Maine area: www.mecovidsitters.org/
- Minnesota: www.mncovidsitters.org/
- Washington DC: www.dccovidsitters.com/
Transitioning Children Back to Childcare or Daycare Centers
After an extended time being home with their family, some children will struggle going back into daycare or childcare. Begin talking to your children about heading back to childcare as soon as you know of their start date. Also, consider these suggestions when transitioning:
- Inform your children they may have their temperature checked when arriving at their childcare center.
- Review the childcare center’s new policies.
- Stay alert of any health changes you or your family have while you start to transition back into work and childcare outside of the home. If you have any signs or symptoms of any illness, contact your healthcare and childcare provider.