We have all seen it. We have all read it. Some Arizona schools are closing or extending spring break. These closures are piggy backing off most springs breaks and extending them by another week or two. This is leaving a lot of parents in a pinch. As of now, many businesses are still up and running and parents aren’t able to stay home. So what can we as a community do to help one another with childcare during school closures.
Reach Out to Other Moms
It’s time to call on your Mom Tribe. You may not be the only one in this situation and splitting the load with other moms can really help. Don’t pressure anyone into watching your kids if they don’t feel comfortable or you don’t feel comfortable.
This is a great option if you and everyone involved is healthy. Think of it as carpool for your home. Moms will rotate taking kids for the day. This will make sure the kids are looked after, have healthy playmates, and give you some break time or time to work. There are many ways you can set this up. Talk with your mom friends and see what works for you guys. Make sure you are all on the same page and you share your preferences with the other moms.
Reach Out to Your Family
You may have healthy low risk family members who can help you out. I would suggest asking them to come to your house. This is the place that is made for your children and is stocked with kid friendly food, toys and will make your children feel most comfortable. Some family members may not have the child friendly space to watch children and we want the right environment and tools for success.
Talk to Your Employer
Things seem to be changing minute by minute and a lot of businesses are coming up with measures they will take in order to meet the needs and demands of their employees and the community. Don’t just assume they want you to come to work. Have a talk with your boss and understand that things can change at any minute. Your boss and company may be way more willing to give you time off to watch your own kids than you think.
Get Creative with Entertainment
No matter who is watching your children, this will most likely be new territory for them and your kids. Discuss with the caretaker where you are and are not comfortable with your kids going. Provide materials to help keep the children entertained. This could be puzzles, coloring books, a Netflix password, snacks, etc. Help make sure some sort of schedule and structure is in place to make the day go as smooth as possible.
School Work During their Time Off
It is a good idea to check with your child’s school to see during the closure if there is going to be remote learning taking place. As of now there seems to be talk and plans for this, but not too much set in place. Be prepared to hear from schools that this could be expected of school age students in certain closed schools and you will need to try and fit that into their daily routine.
There are also A LOT of free resources online that are available even if schools don’t assign them, that will keep your children educationally productive.
This is really the time to lean on our community and help one another out especially when it comes to childcare during school closures. Keep yourself informed with reliable sources and be prepared that even when you make a plan it may need to change as the days go by. Stay calm, stay healthy, and let’s support each other during this time.