Local News

Heading back to the office? Child care options for busy parents

As some students plan to return to school and parents plan to return to work, many parents are wondering what childcare options will be available. The YMCA is planning to offer a program that will strive to maintain a safe environment, while also offering activities and lessons to help kids with online school lessons and electives.

Posted Updated

Leslie Moreno
, WRAL multimedia journalist
RALEIGH, N.C. — Families are preparing for the return to school, whether that means in the classroom or remotely.
However, for parents who work full-time, child care is a major concern.

Workers at the YMCA have been working closely with the Wake County Public School System for the last few weeks to come up with a plan for families and teachers who need child care.

As of now, they’re still working out the specifics, but the YMCA is confident families and teachers will be taken care of this school year.

Kiara Riddick, who has two children in Wake County public schools, said she works full-time and is having trouble finding childcare options that are both safe and educationally beneficial.

“It’s not something small, these are my kids education we’re talking about. We don’t get a redo!” she said.

With the help of Wake County schools and other local organizations, the YMCA put together what it calls "The Families and Schools Together Initiative," where families and teachers can take their child while they work.

"The YMCA will be setting up scholastic support centers at locations across the Triangle," said Kim Keith, vice president of youth development at the YMCA.

Keith said the YMCA would have staff available to help support students with their remote learning.

After students finish their school work, they will have the option of participating in other activities they may not have the chance to at home, such as STEM activities.

Keith said the planned activities should really give students the opportunity to focus and make up for some of the activities and elective type things they may be missing at school when they're not there in person.

However, when it comes to back-to-school plans for public schools and childcare, nothing is set in stone.

Riddick said she needs answers now. 

“I’m engaged in meetings and emails, but right now it’s just options. There’s nothing firm on the table to say YMCA is doing this for sure. So, until we know what’s for sure as parents, we can’t just put all our eggs in one basket," she said.

The YMCA expects to open registration for its programs early as next week after details are finalized.
Keith said she understands parents are anxious, but there will be a more clear plan by next week. ​


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