Childcare remains critical as parents navigate through COVID-19 shutdowns

Facilities taxing extra precaution with sanitation, social distancing

Childcare remains valid concern as parents navigate through COVID-19 closures and changes
Childcare remains valid concern as parents navigate through COVID-19 closures and changes

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Despite shutdowns and ordered shut-ins, essential businesses are still operating across most of South Florida.

That means some parents are still working, and childcare has become a critical issue.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference, “I don’t think you can just totally shut it down,” when asked about child learning facilities across the state.

Hundreds of childcare centers across South Florida have closed their doors, for one reason or another, but for those left standing, the uncertainty is heavy.

“Even though the Governor has stated that he understands the commitment and the services we provide to first responders, police, that sort of thing. We don’t know if the Governor might change his mind based upon what’s going on,” said Sarah Brazier, the owner of Liberty Academy in Miami.

Amid growing concerns about COVID-19, Brazier worried about her families and staff.

She said 37% of her families are still coming in, and between that and outside help, she’s been able to keep things going.

“We don’t want anyone to face any additional hardships,” said Rachel Spector, who works with The Children’s Trust in Miami.

Hundreds of child learning facilities are getting a much-needed extra boost to keep their business afloat during and after this pandemic.

“We let them know our plan moving forward in terms of financing. That we’re going to continue to support them financially,” said Spector. “Again, whether their programs are open or closed.”

The Early Learning Coalition is helping families in Broward during this time too.

Facilities still open have had to change the way they operate.

“We’ve always done a heavy sanitization. We’ve always done that,” said Brazier. “What we’ve had to change is the social distancing. It means that because we have a large facility, we can meet the mandate of no more than 10 in a classroom; nine children and a teacher.”

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