Colorado Child Care Providers Struggle To Remain Open
Yesterday, I was told that my daughter's preschool may be closing, as her class of 20 has now dwindled to just 3 kids.
That knowledge gave me more anxiety than any other COVID-19 development we've experienced so far, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Especially knowing that after my husband's hours have been cut, it may become more difficult to manage our time between earning our livelihood and needing to pull back from work even further to take care of our child.
It's easy to wonder how people are supposed to pay their rent or mortgage if they aren't working, and worry that we are all bound for eviction.
However, Colorado has no intentions of closing day cares at this time, as health care providers must be able to go to work. But that doesn't mean providers can financially keep their doors open, even if they knew whether or not they should.
Due to new questions arising from the novel coronavirus, early childhood providers are getting mixed messages. They were told to remain open as usual during the earlier period of the pandemic, and then a few days later, were asked to keep class sizes to 10, according to Denver Post. But if a staff member or child gets COVID-19, then the center must close for 72 hours.
All of these factors put an understandable strain on the industry many critical workers depend on. With less than a quarter of parents keeping kids in childcare, CDC restrictions limiting employee contact and the uncertainty of the developing outbreak, it is questionable how day cares can sustainably stay open for the long haul and what that will mean for those of us who depend on them.
Gov. Jared Polis has organized emergency child care for essential workers in response to this potential need, but as a parent, dropping my kid off at a new place amid a pandemic does not sit well with me. Still, all we can do is carry on, ask for greater clarity in regard to our day care centers, and thank them for soldiering on in the face of uncertainty.