Coronavirus School Closures Leave Parents Scrambling To Find Child Care
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Schools are closing their doors across the area sending a seismic shockwave for parents scrambling to find child care for the next few weeks.
Sacramento County public schools have a quarter-million students and 400 schools. Even if only half of those parents would have to stay home, you could see how it would impact our economy.
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"It's not worth it, but I understand why they are doing it," said parent Shawnte Tobeck.
Tobeck understands it's all an effort by city leaders to stop the spread of the coronavirus
Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby said, "The fewer kids, groups, and large organizations that are congregating the more we can slow the progress and all."
Sacramento County Office of Education is the latest to make the decision to shut down leaving parents in the lurch.
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"I've been hearing it all day," said Tobeck.
Tobeck works for a private daycare facility. As of right now, they aren't planning to close so she has to work. That means she'll have to juggle care with her husband for their eight-year-old daughter and her friend. Their school is closed until April 13.
"My senior, she is pretty upset. She's not sure if they are going to do prom," she said.
As parents arrived to pick up their kids, they plotted what happens next. One woman said: "Now I have to figure out child care for my high school student, my kindergartener, and my infant and I have to make that coincide with my work schedule, and I don't have the ability to work from home."
City leaders say parks will remain open, along with libraries and community centers.
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"I am going to bring them to the park. I am not going to let this coronavirus scare me," said Anthony Slain.
Slain feels fortunate he works from home so his schedule is flexible. He says he is not sure whether the decision to close schools was the right one, but that now will be a good time to monitor children's health and watch for symptoms.
"People know when their kids are sick," he said.
That is why the California Teachers Association is asking for schools to be closed statewide to protect students and staff from COVID-19.
A lot of students receive free and reduced lunch from schools. Check your district website for sites where you can get breakfast and lunch daily.
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