Some parents struggling to find childcare as daycares close their doors

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many parents are on edge right now as they try to juggle working and finding child care with the push to practice social distancing, daycares must follow very strict policies to keep your kids safe, but how are they doing it?

“It has really been fast-paced not knowing day to day what the ramifications or the effects of the pandemic are going to be like and how it’s going to affect our center,” Gretchel Ellerbee Thompson with the Child Development Center. 

Each day into the global pandemic of COVID-19 brings new applications for kids to attend Thompson child care development center. 

Nearly half of day cares across the state opted to close their doors following the stay at home order, but Thompson says there’s still a need and her center wants to help fill it. 

“We know that we have parents that still have to go to work they still have to report to work in order to provide for their families. I give us high honors for being open and to let them know that we’re here.”  

Thompson says what’s most important is giving the children a comfortable place to be without overcrowding the center.

“The ability to maintain our ratio in guidelines with the state, we will get them in and make sure we have the adequate amount of resources to maintain the child and the family as well.” Thompson said. 

The state deems daycares an essential business. One of the reasons is because of the strict health guidelines that must be followed. 

Thompson says in addition to stepping up sanitation components. The staff has also been checking in with all the kids to make sure they’re ok mentally as well. 

“They are people too and there are some things children need to know as well to bring comfort to themselves to know that ‘hey, I’m going to be ok.’” 

For now, some of the daycares that did close say there’s no timeline for when they might reopen.

“We can supply a service that’s really needed in this time,” said Thompson. “I think with providing that safe environment and explaining it on their level so that they can understand.”

Now with about half of the daycares around the state closing, there has been a steady influx of new applications and Thompson says she doesn’t know when that will taper off because of the day cares that did close have no idea when they’ll re-open. 
 

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