A Time of Difficult Decisions

Report From a Childcare Worker

I have run a preschool/daycare out of my home for the past 15 years. As of March 1, 2020 there was a full class of 13 students a day, a wait list, and 2 other employees. By the beginning of April, due to parents and children staying home from the shelter in place order, there wasn’t enough income to pay all employees. Now I am the only one working and the other employees have had to go on unemployment. My reduced income has made a major impact on my ability to pay monthly bills, and I’ve had to postpone mortgage payments.

Now my class has been reduced to four students, three days a week. These children are from two families of parents that are considered essential workers. Recently, I have received calls from the county urging me to accept new students from new families of parents that are also essential workers. But this has caused a dilemma.

I have two family members living in my household that are considered high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, one of which was also working for the preschool/daycare. The two families I currently have are taking all necessary precautions to stay healthy, but I cannot risk bringing new people in that I do not know and trust to be safe. Although it was a difficult decision to make, I had to turn them down to keep my family safe. We would all appreciate the income and would love to help our community, but not when it comes with these life threatening risks. 

Featured image credit: Gautam Arora / Unsplash