Parents scramble to find daycare during pandemic, YMCA steps in to help

The scramble for quality daycare

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many area parents are scrambling to find daycare for their little ones as they choose between working and staying at home with their kids.

Parents are coming up with some unique ideas to keep their kids safe and engaged in learning during this pandemic, and one local non-profit is also stepping in to help.

Haley Jones and her husband run a business from home, and with three small children, she said the task of being a mom, a business owner, and now a teacher isn’t easy.

“When I found out they were going to be going virtual, I really felt devastated, I felt upset, even angry…I know that’s a strong word, and a little bit panicked,” Jones explained.

She has three-year-old twin boys, and a rising first grader, who attends a Jefferson County school.

She’s getting help from a Jefferson County teacher in a similar situation.

“I got word that she was doing some tutoring for very limited children to kind of help parents that aren’t teachers just know that they’re getting what they need and staying on top of maybe areas that they’re struggling,” Jones said.

Jones said she’s thankful to have that extra help for a couple of hours each week, but it’s still not enough, and she’s not alone.

“We’re getting calls every minute of the day trying to find solutions,” President & CEO of YMCA Birmingham, Dan Pile.

Pile said employees at “The Y” have worked all summer long to address parents’ needs, offering a safe and reliable way to keep kids learning.

“We’re uniquely qualified because of our facilities and our reach all over the region. So, we feel like when membership is lower because of people being afraid of the COVID virus or the disease, we feel like it’s in our best interest to covert our facilities to accommodate these. We have a lot of great staff that are trained to be able to do this kind of work,” Pile said.

The YMCA’s programs include full-day childcare, as well as various other models to accommodate families in different school districts.

Pile said if you are interested in getting your child enrolled, you need to do so quickly because space is filling up.

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