Child care operations more complicated with school reopening

A Leap in Learning on Buffalo Street in Hamburg. August 8, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
Photo credit A Leap in Learning on Buffalo Street in Hamburg. August 8, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

The industry, which has struggled to make ends meet due to added costs in personal protective equipment and many closing due to more parents working from home, will now have increased demand from families but fewer resources to help.

Still, she wonders how the hybrid model of schooling, where kids go to school on alternative days instead of five days per week, will impact families.

“These parents are getting up at 5 a.m.,” she said. “They’re taking a shower, getting ready, getting their kids breakfast, getting them in their car, bringing them to child care, rushing to work, working all day long, coming to pick up their children, now they have to get them home, feed them, bathe them, then do two-to-three hours of homework with them? How are they going to do that?”

Scheduling for day care centers will also be difficult given the hybrid model and the fewer day care centers that are available. Phillips said they need to re-evaluate what they’re doing with school-aged children to assist them with virtual learning.

“You have 30 to 40 percent less child care centers whose numbers are reduced,” she said. “There’s nowhere for these children to go.”

She referenced Frontier Schools bringing in a national company, Right At School, to assist in child care needs with before and after school programs. Frontier partnered with the program in May.

“I think that’s amazing,” she said. “The costs are astronomical. So now we’re putting a financial burden on these parents.”

Phillips, though, said that there is plenty good in schools reopening, including meals for kids and for their development both educationally and socially.