The New Normal for Parents – Less School, More Daycare Costs
Parents are scrambling right now, trying to figure out how to adjust the new normal for their school-age children, and how to afford the increased daycare costs.
My heart goes out to parents of young children right now. Many schools are looking at hybrid learning which, for anyone who hasn't been keeping up with all the new terminology, means that kids attend school in a classroom for part of the week and then do 'distance learning' (from home) for the rest of the week. From the perspective of decreasing the size of classrooms, to allow for physical distancing, it makes sense. But for the working parents who now have children without a place to go for most of the week, it's a big headache.
I remember when my kids were little, I was working evenings at the radio station. My solution was to share a home with a friend. I paid the rent and she took care of my kids. When she eventually decided to move on, it was my parents who took the kids in the evenings so I could work to support them. It wasn't ideal, since my parents gave up their retirement years to help me raise my kids, but it was my only option since you can't get child care services from 5 to midnight.
It's a delicate balance, finding the right childcare provider that will treat your children well, so you can go to work to earn the money to pay them. And when it's all figured out and everything is 'in place,' it's a huge relief. But now, parents who thought they already had it all figured out, are being thrown a huge curveball. Instead of after-school care, they're scrambling to find all-day care for most of the week...and the means to pay for it.
Then, there are the child care providers, who are working to expand their programs, so more kids can be there for longer periods of time. And they have to make sure everyone is being kept safe, with masks, handwashing, etc. There's a reason why these facilities are so expensive, because it's a tough job being responsible for other people's children.
I don't have any answers to this 'new normal.' But I do have a big (virtual) hug for everyone involved. It's a tough situation, all the way around, and I hope you all find a way through it that works for everyone. Grandmothers, Nanas, Nonnas, Gramps, Bumpas, and the like...get ready...your kids are about to come knocking.