Parents struggle to find daycare solutions as schools open

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As schools reopen some virtually – some in the classroom – and some both, parents may find themselves scrambling for day-care options. We spoke to a parent who may have found a creative solution.

As the saying goes–it takes a village to raise a child and Kayla Meisel says it’s time to turn to your community for help. So she started a Facebook group called Bismarck Area Creative Childcare Solutions to connect parents who need help with their children.

“In general, people are just afraid to put themselves out there. They’re afraid to ask for help.
But the day they announced the hybrid schooling plans the group really took off,” said Meisel.

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the daycare plans of many working parents. Conventional daycare resources aren’t as available thanks to coronavirus impacts and parents are left wondering what to do with their kids who aren’t in school while they go to work.

“Previous generations, we had that village. You had other women in your circles that supported you and I think today we have this idea we have to do it all alone,” said Meisel.

One member of the group is a mother of three, Certified Nursing Assistant, and says she may need to start working overnights to accommodate the needs of her children. The hours she’s working now make it difficult for her to find consistent childcare.

“Everybody is struggling right now. Childcare resources are so stretched out and everybody is desperately reaching out to get anybody to take care of their kids so they don’t lose their job,” said Karina Sayler.

Some creative solutions suggested in the group are: Making a small co-op of moms looking to trade kids so everyone gets a day off a week, offer to meet another mom at the mall play area and take turns running the necessary errands, or trade cleaning services or a photography session for a day or night of babysitting.

“There’s no guarantee that it will be safe.. but you use your gut you meet with them ahead of time
but you also can’t be afraid that everyone’s out to get you. You have to take a leap of faith for your own sanity to get help with those kids,” said Meisel.

Regardless of different situations, Kayla says we are all in this together so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Meisel says her biggest goal is to make sure no parent feels alone right now.

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