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Information about the author of this post.
awilliam's picture Azetta Beatty, MS
Work-Life Manager
College or Department
Work-Life
Address
Scovell Hall
Phone Number
(859) 257-2648
Email Address
Azetta.Beatty@uky.edu

Whew, here we go parents. Another school year has begun. It is already shaping up to be one of a kind. Depending on how your child views school and their desire to attend, back to school may be a bit stressful.

Some children may be excited about being back in the classroom, while others may not. Either way, it may require some adjustment to get acclimated to in-person classes again after a school year of mostly or all virtual school. Some parents may be wondering how long the children will stay in-person with the COVID-19 virus uncertainties. Other parents may be experiencing some challenges with reliable bus transportation. Or everything may be going smoothly for you. No matter where you find yourself, know that you are not alone.
 
Child care is one of the most important aspects of parenting. All parents know that child care is great when it is working and a huge headache when it is not. As a parent myself, I appreciate the time when I can focus on work or other things for a little while because my children are safely attending in-person school. The mental load of wondering about stable child care on top of the many other things on your mind can be a bit overwhelming, to say the least.
 
This fall we find ourselves in a unique space where the daily routine may not last if schools end up closing due to the pandemic or if your child needs to be quarantined. This has the potential to impact your entire household and your workday. Not everyone will be able to work remotely for a variety of reasons. Therefore, reliable child care is a necessity. Because of the uncertainty of the times, it’s important for parents to start looking for child care alternatives now. Consider asking family, friends or neighbors how they can assist you. For example, if a neighbor picks up their child every day, you might ask them to be a backup for you if the bus is not picking up in the afternoon due to the bus driver shortage. You may look into hiring a part-time sitter. A couple of options include www.care.com and www.sittercity.com.

The key is to start securing alternative options for child care now just in case your regular options become unavailable.  
 
So what will you do for child care if your child’s school closes? Have you identified alternative forms of child care? What are your options? This will look different for every parent. Some parents will have relatives who can assist with child care while other parents will hire a sitter or nanny. Parents have always had to identify alternative child care options. Due to the pandemic, the choices are even more limited. Now is the time to explore your options and make an agreement just in case you need it.
 
P – Put together a list of people who can help you with child care.
L – Look for alternatives for before and after school transportation and child care.
A – Always be aware of how your children are doing in school mentally and academically.
N – Never underestimate the power of a conversation with other parents for advice and resources.