Parents scramble to find child care as Triangle daycares close because of COVID-19 spread

As more daycares in the Triangle close because of coronavirus precautions, more parents are left scrambling to find child care.

Infants Palace Child Care Center in southeast Raleigh is staying open. The staff is taking extra cautions, including taking children's and parent's temperatures. They're also sanitizing toys.

"The (parents) that don't have that luxury of staying home and they have to go to work, we are here so that they can continue to go to work," said Infants Palace Owner Vernette Moore. "Down the road we don't know what's going to happen, whether we're going to have to close the door and everybody has to stay home so we're going to open as long as we can."

Seth and Lindsay Sherer are working from their Raleigh home during the coronavirus pandemic and had to make changes to their children's care.

"Normally our son is at preschool, which actually has stayed open, but we really want to reserve that for families that really need it, that are in the healthcare field, so we've kept him home and we have family nearby that's helping and just kind of trying to split up the time and figure it all out," Lindsay Sherer said.

"My company has been really supportive of that," Seth Sherer said. "They've instituted a policy where you can get 12 days of additional daycare because of the virus and they'll reimburse us for it. So we're able to hire additional baby sitters but a lot of people don't have that kind of support that we have."

Harps Mill Creative School in Raleigh is also staying open. Like Infants Palace, they've noticed attendance has cut in half with many parents working from home.

Bright Horizons on Corporate Center Drive is closing until April 27.

Meanwhile, the state said it's providing support to child care centers.

Wednesday, officials from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance for temporary, emergency child care to be provided in designated public schools during the COVID-19 school closures, with priority given to essential employees, including first responders, hospital staff, front-line healthcare providers, nursing and adult group home staff, child care program staff and food service staff.

It does not appear that's happened yet.

As for the Sherers, they're aware things are likely to keep changing.

"I think we're just taking it, literally, day by day," Lindsay Sherer said. "Hopefully we can continue doing what we've been doing but I'm sure there will be some snags along the way. I think that's all you really can do."
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