Friday, August 21, 2020

Daycare, Grandparent, Pod Or Nanny? How To Manage The Risks Of Pandemic Child Care

A late July daycare drop off in Queens, N.Y., during the community's "phase 4 reopening" of businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

By Katherine Harmon Courage

Pre-pandemic, about half of U.S. families reported having trouble finding care for a young child. That number jumped to nearly two thirds this spring, as daycares closed and other caretakers, such as grandparents and nannies, were told to stay home.

And with many schools operating remotely, in a hybrid model or abruptly changing course this fall, many more parents, including those with kids in elementary school and beyond, are grappling with a child care crisis.

This shakeup of an already-fragile child care puzzle is no longer just a matter of logistics ("Who can watch the preschooler when I work?") or finances ("Can I afford to share a nanny with two other families?"). The pandemic makes these questions even more complicated and anxiety-provoking.

"Everything is about risk mitigation right now," says Dr. Anne Rimoin, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologist who specializes in emerging infectious diseases. "So you have to think carefully about where you're putting your kids and who's taking care of them and make the best decision that you can based on the options available to you."  Read more >>