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‘Who Will Mind My Kids?’ – Parents Mulling Back-To-Work Order Ponder Daycare Dilemma

Parents and guardians preparing to return to worksites as COVID-19 restrictions ease next month are now mulling over another quandary: whether to risk sending their children to daycare.

Others who have lost jobs or suffered steep pay cuts can’t even afford it.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ declaration on Monday that a work-from-home order will be lifted on June 1 is expected to fire up a sluggish economy that has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs and which is forecast to contract by more than five per cent this fiscal year.

While some companies will continue teleworking arrangements, the announcement serves as the green light for employers to request that staff return to worksites.

But as daycare facilities look to gradually scale up operations, parents who require childcare services are weighing the risks of sending their children outside the safety of the home to be cared for by others.

FEAR OF INFECTION

Najee Stewart, father of a one-year-old daughter, is scheduled to return to work on June 2. His wife may also be back at her workspace as well.

“[My daughter] has been going to the daycare since she was four months old, but now I don’t even want to send her back. She will be mingling with other children, and we won’t know who is a carrier of the virus. As a parent, I’m very concerned,” the father said.

Stewart explained that even if daycare enrolment is reduced, the possibility of his child becoming infected still exists.

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