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Solutions for Your Daycare Difficulties – Tips & Resources for Childcare During COVID

Let’s be honest: daycare in America was far from perfect before 2020. Now, as the pandemic rages on, experts claim we’re in the midst of a childcare crisis. In the past few months, I’ve heard from so many stressed-out mommas who feel forced to choose between their job and watching their little ones.

Let’s be honest: daycare in America was far from perfect before 2020. Now, as the pandemic rages on, experts claim we’re in the midst of a childcare crisis. In the past few months, I’ve heard from so many stressed-out mommas who feel forced to choose between their job and watching their little ones.

This childcare crisis truly breaks my heart. I wish I could swoop in like Superwoman and help everyone who’s in need. However, since I don’t have supernanny abilities (at least not yet!) I thought I’d do the next best thing: write a helpful blog article! In this post, I’ll share the most authoritative resources and tips you could use for childcare assistance during COVID-19.    

Helping Mommas in Need – Tips for Childcare During the Pandemic

Is Childcare Covered For Healthcare Employees?

From the start of the pandemic, essential workers have had to deal with an unimaginable amount of stress. Unfortunately, families in fields like healthcare who are in need of resources haven’t received much assistance during this time.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Congress approved $3.5 billion in childcare relief as a part of the CARES Act. However, most local governments say they’ve already run through all of that money. Today, only a handful of states offer free childcare for essential workers, and many more don’t have any childcare aid policies in place.

While you should stay up-to-date on any laws passed at the federal or state level, we can’t solely rely on higher-ups to swoop in and solve our problems. As a general rule, I always encourage new mommas to be proactive about the things they can change—especially building lasting relationships with their local community. The more people you have in your village, the easier it is to deal with unforeseen events like COVID-19.

If you are an essential worker who needs help with childcare, you may want to start by checking out this official webpage on the CARES Act. However, I’d also recommend looking into out-of-the-box childcare options. For instance, if you or someone you know is in college, see if that university offers childcare assistance. You could also research community centers, faith-based organizations, or charities that provide free or discounted childcare.  

Also, be sure to sign up with local groups on social media sites like Facebook or Patch to stay up-to-date with the community. Even if you’ve got your childcare situation settled, it’s super important to stay in the loop with what’s going on in your community.

Where Do I Go To Find Childcare Financial Assistance?

While most states don’t offer 100 percent free childcare, there are many local governments and organizations that have special discount programs parents can take advantage of. Since every state has different policies, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” application I can share in this blog post. However, there are a few websites parents can use to find out more about financial assistance.

The best online resource mommas should add to their favorites is www.chilcare.gov. Specifically, I’d recommend visiting this page dedicated to COVID-19 information. Here you’ll find a ton of info on childcare procedures and discounts in every corner of the U.S. (even as far as Guam!). You could also enter your state in this web portal for more info on childcare procedures.

How Do You Know A Daycare Is CDC Approved?

Even if you could send your kiddos to childcare, you may feel uncomfortable about the increased risk of diseases like COVID-19. It’s difficult enough to get grown-ups to stay socially distant—so how can we expect little ones to abide by the CDC’s COVID childcare guidelines?

I can’t deny it: there is an increased risk of disease in settings like childcare facilities, especially if your little one has a pre-existing condition like asthma. Even though children don’t usually have as dire COVID-19 symptoms as adults, the CDC still warns they can bring this nasty bug home.

But it’s not just COVID-19 parents have to worry about. Scientific research suggests outbreaks of diseases like hepatitis A, E. coli, and rotavirus are extremely common in childcare facilities.

OK, I know that’s a lot of scary info, but please don’t think I’m dissuading you from signing up for daycare! I only want my mommas to know the facts so they can make an informed decision.

There are many ways you could test a prospective daycare to see if they’re living up to the CDC’s health guidelines. Of course, you want to ensure your daycare has a thorough sanitization policy as well as plenty of hygiene stations, face visors or masks, and social distancing markers. It’s also essential that your childcare facility only accepts about 25 percent of its original capacity.

For more details on childcare hygiene standards, be sure to read through these official CDC guidelines. You should also review my sneaky tips for inspecting daycares in this previous post.

Final Tip: Build Your Village Before Crazy Times Hit

I know this sounds like a broken record, but I can’t stress enough the importance of building your village. When stressful times strike, we must draw strength from our local community. If we all band together, I’m optimistic we will thrive during these tough times.

Please don’t think you have to go it alone during this pandemic. If you need help, never feel ashamed to ask for it. You could even DM me @windycitynanny if you have any questions or concerns about childcare. While I can’t meet with you one-on-one, I promise to help guide you towards childcare solutions to the best of my ability.