Parents who have no choice but to work away from home during the coronavirus school shutdown, such as medical professionals and first responders, are scrambling to find safe child care. Here are some options:
Child care Aware
Child care Aware, a statewide nonprofit that connects families to local, licensed child care is here to help. The organization has been doing this work for more than 30 years. All of the providers in the Childcare Aware database are licensed and/or regulated, which adds a layer of safety to the referrals they provide to families for free.
Families can search the online database anytime or call their Family Center for help M-F 8:30-4:30 at 1-800-446-1114. They can help in any language and are fully operational during this time.
“We are tracking child care closures and programs with additional capacity across the state,” says Marcia Jacobs of Childcare Aware. “We also have data on child care supply, demand, costs, etc. for every county in Washington.”
The Weekdays app, started by a Seattle mom, connects parents with in-home providers. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Weekdays is using an urgent text message service (425.200.5127 or email@example.com) to reach parents as part of its “Home Pods” program. Each “pod” will take a maximum of three children to limit interaction amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Josie Droz, a 13-year-old Robert Eagle Staff Middle School student, created the Good Kids network, connecting middle-schoolers with parents looking for babysitters. For parents or students looking to join the network, check out the Good Kids Facebook page.
Boys and Girls Club
The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County are extending their hours and offering a $50 membership and a $25-per-day fee for childcare. Call your neighborhood Club to confirm the starting time. Families can call the open Clubs for more information, or visit https://positiveplace.org/clubs/.
Nanny Parent Connection
A 20,000-member community of parents, nannies, babysitters and au pairs in the Puget Sound region, Nanny Parent Connection has reported more local teachers entering the nanny pool as they try to maintain income. Call/text 425-243-7032.