Schools canceling over COVID-19 complicates childcare options for working parents

Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 19:27:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Several Tennessee school districts have decided to cancel classes, so that classrooms can be thoroughly cleaned. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is recommending all public schools cease in-person classes.

The buses are quiet and the swing set is empty, but on the home front, uncertainty is screaming in Tabby Oldham's brain. "We have said March Madness is taking on a whole new meaning," she said.

Tabby is a single working Mom, meaning when her daughter Tiffany isn't at school, she has to come up with a plan. "It is frustrating to have to, at the last minute, find a place where your kid can be safe," said Oldham.

Though her office allows it, she knew today wouldn't be a good Take Your Daughter To Work Day. "It’s not ideal. We’re still running a business, we still need to get work done," she said. She was finally able to work up a solution. "I’m very grateful that we have a great after school program that at the last minute said they would take in some of us working parent’s children today," said Oldham.

It's a quandary, parents of all ages are dealing with. Jennifer Nelson's kids are in high school. Even though child care isn't a concern, how they spend their day has been. "I say to them, I’m sorry the whole point of this being off school is that you’re not out in the community and not among everyone else," said Nelson.

Tabby's biggest concern is if the spread of COVID-19, makes school cancelations more frequent. "If they were to do that, I honestly don’t have an answer today and it’s definitely something that’s creating a lot of stress in my world to see that they're starting to shut down those schools and facilities," said Oldham.