A choice you can live with
With the proliferation of COVID-19, parents of school-age children are scrambling to secure safe child care as they go back to school, either online or in the classroom. Parents who work from home seek uninterrupted workdays, and those who go into their office need to know their children are in good hands and are taking safety measures to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Parents who once depended on daycare and afterschool programs are now questioning how safe it is to have their children attend programs with many children enrolled. Parents are challenged with the danger of their children being exposed to kids who may be infected.
What can parents do?
Parents can follow guidance from their state’s governor, the CDC and local ordinances. They can stay informed about COVID-19 by reading from reputable sources such as the CDC and WHO.
Suppose their children attend an in-person school or a childcare program. In that case, parents expect enhanced health and safety measures, including health checks on every visitor entering the facilities, employees wearing masks, and frequent handwashing and disinfecting workplace surfaces.
Even with enhanced safety measures, the downside is enforcing the children to comply with the school or program’s safety measures mentioned above. If their children don’t comply, the safety measures taken by school or childcare employees are futile.
Are there any safe child care options available?
An option that limits transmission potential is child care in your own home. The logic behind in-home care is fewer people involved, less chance of COVID-19 exposure. Plus, in-home care offers more than help with school and activities. Professional caregivers prepare meals, tidy the home, do laundry and run errands, and more.
"Parents who once depended on daycare and afterschool programs are now questioning how safe it is to have their children attend programs with many children enrolled."
Home care for children is increasingly popular, as parents opt for a reliable and professional caregiver to care for their children and help with online school in their own homes, minimizing exposure. Some ‘quarantine-partner parent couples’ have created a hybrid model of childcare where they pool resources to provide in-home care for both families’ children. The children stay at one family’s home with the caregiver while the parents go to their office or work from home. This hybrid model of pandemic childcare is popular for many reasons, with safety and peace of mind being the top two.
Home care agencies such as SYNERGY HomeCare are amenable to the hybrid model. This model complements its 6-step safety protocol used in clients’ homes:
- Complete fitness for work / Lack of exposure questions before each visit
- Wash hands upon entering client's home
- Wear face masks when working around clients
- Wear gloves when touching clients
- Sanitize frequently-touched surfaces
- Taking their temperature throughout the workday
It’s a hard decision for parents
Some parents need to get back to work to keep their households running. Others need the ability to work at home without interruption by their children.
After months of quarantine, parents are reluctant to allow their children to reintegrate with the world due to the fear of contracting the virus. Many parents have said, “If I let my child go to daycare and get the virus, I’ll never forgive myself.”
Is it roulette, or do parents have enough information to make a decision that sits well with them? Agonizing choices between health risks and paychecks are weighing on parents throughout the country.
As one might imagine, this is the type of dialogue that prompted the birth of the hybrid childcare model of families who have been quarantining together since Spring and have chosen to care for their children together.
In-home child care certainly is a safer option for both children and parents, based on the number of people involved alone. While over 60 percent of the nation’s childcare centers have closed, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, with the uncertainty of if or when they’ll reopen, many parents are trusting home care agencies to care for their children.