Parents frustrated over having to pay for daycare when it's closed

Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:10:16-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thousands of daycares across the country are choosing to shut down this week to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Even so, many parents are still being forced to pay or lose their child's spot. The predicament has parents like Andi upset. While she understands safety comes first, she does not think it's fair to have to pay for a service she isn't getting.

Andi is a mother of three kids under the age of 5. Daycare is essential for the mom. Being in the healthcare industry she is still going to work. She tells me she decided to unenroll her kids from Kiddie Academy in Franklin and was lucky enough to find space elsewhere, but this isn't the case for everyone.

"In Franklin it is incredibly hard to find daycare," said Andi, "I put my son on the waitlist before he was born and he's about to be 8 months."

Kiddie Academy in Franklin did send us a statement saying they are discounting tuition by 50 percent. The statement, sent by owners MyRanda and Jason Jones, said in part:

"At Kiddie Academy of Franklin, we provide children and their families with a caring and passionate team, and it has taken time for us to build this amazing team of educators. We decided that during this two-week closure, we want our faculty will continue to be compensated as this is their primary source of income and have discounted tuition for families by 50% to reflect this closure. Families will not be charged if the Academy is closed more than two weeks. We want to make sure that when we re-open, these teachers will still be at our school providing great care and education, as well as continuity for our students."

Nonetheless some parents say this is still expensive and with many parents out of work right now, they hope for more leniency.

"With three kids in one place I pay $3,500 a month," said Andi, "It's just putting people between a rock and a hard place...either pay money you don't have or risk losing stable childcare."