According to a recent New York Times article, working moms have been hit particularly hard by the ongoing pandemic. This is not a surprise to me as working a full-time job while taking care of children at home and possibly even home-schooling them is an almost impossible task. Consequently, almost 1 million moms have left the workforce.
Childcare for Working Moms
Even though my husband and I have both been working ever since our son was born, we never sent him to a childcare facility until he was almost two years old. Given that we could both partially work from home and with family helping us out, we were able to handle childcare for the longest time. I used to be the type of mom who could have never imagined a stranger taking care of my baby. But I had a change of heart once I heard my other friends’ being so enthusiastic about their kid striving in daycare.
So in February 2020, we made the tough decision to enroll him in a preschool. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for us. Also, starting your kid in school is quite a financial investment with enrollment fees, uniforms, materials, etc. Obviously, we did not have a crystal ball back then to figure what bad timing that was to start him. Just 2 weeks later, the whole state shut down due to the outbreak of the coronavirus including my son’s daycare.
The Working Mom Dilemma
I had the same fate as many moms in 2020: I had to work from home with my toddler there. It was a challenge to make sure that he did not intercept my Zoom calls while keeping Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background on mute. This situation was bittersweet. On the one hand, I was so grateful to have him there with me and spend time with him. On the other hand, my workload was high with long hours during this time. So, the time spent with him was not necessarily the most quality time.
My son’s daycare reopened for in-person classes back in May. But like most of the parents, I could have not fathomed to put him back in there during this pandemic. Nonetheless, I was worried about my son’s development. He was behind in speech and those extended screen time hours could not possibly be of any benefit to him.
Studies show that the first 5 years of a child’s life are crucial to his development. Hence, I started to be very concerned about how damaging this could be for him in the long run. After careful consideration, we decided to place him back there. That night I was wide awake asking myself, “What am I doing?” “Am I crazy?” “Why would you put him back in daycare in the middle of a pandemic? At least, he’s safe here at home even if it’s boring.” But I can say with full confidence that this was the BEST decision we made in 2020.
New and Safer Protocol
We moved last summer and had him out of school for one week and I noticed how much he was missing it. So we did our research and found an amazing new preschool for him. Both of the preschools he went to implemented an amazing protocol making us as parents feel safer than ever.
Some of these precautions include:
- Temperatures being taken before they enter
- Parents are not allowed to enter the facility (a little bit sad as I don’t get to participate in activities such as holiday shows but a very reasonable decision from the school)
- They have clean shoes at the daycare and take off their street shoes when entering
- Staff wears masks
- Regular hand washing is part of the children’s schedule
- Class sizes are limited
- Sick children are not permitted
I can’t emphasize enough how appreciative and grateful I am of the staff working there. My son gets the engagement and interaction he needs. And they run an exceptional program. Even If I was a SAHM, I would never be able to come up with so many creative ideas.
Thinking about enrolling your child in preschool? Our Preschools Guide is hot off the press, featuring some of the finest preschools in Miami and the surrounding areas. And if you have questions about VPK, be sure to check out this helpful post about VPK enrollment and registration.