HMW: How might we assess actual childcare needs among UNC Health Care workers ASAP?
What we learned:
UNC Health Care is exploring the possibility of emailing out a Qualtrics survey to employees on behalf of our UNC Task Force and UNC Health Care to assess actual childcare needs.
Yesterday, the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) put forth joint guidance to school superintendents requesting public schools provide temporary, emergency out-of-school child care in public schools during COVID-19 school closures if they can meet the minimum requirements listed. While NC DPI was involved in drafting these guidelines, they will not be overseeing or regulating these emergency care sites for school-aged children.
No new state funding streams have been open to fund care for school-aged children at school sites.
The state now has a 1-800 number to connect folks with childcare options at 1-888-600-1685. More info on this service will be posted as it becomes available.
“Childcare” according to NC DHHS refers to care for children ages 0 to 5 and NOT care for school-age children ages 5 and up. When we say “childcare”, we need to be explicit about what we mean and ask others what they mean.
UNC Health Care representatives indicate that they are currently more concerned about care for school-age children 5 and up.
While DCDEE seemed to relax some of the typical rules and regulations for childcare centers ages 0-5 in order to increase their capacities to accept more children right now, there is tension between relaxing these rules and preventing the spread of COVD-19 among children in these childcare centers.
Additional questions generated:
Would UNC Health Care employees who are parents prefer to have their children cared for inside their home or outside their home?
Would UNC Health Care employees who are parents prefer to have co-workers/co-workers’ families, medical student volunteers/residents, or community volunteers watch their children?
Would UNC Health Care employees who are parents prefer to have their children supervised in a school building rather than arranging for individual care for their child(ren)?