Mom pays $260 each week for childcare due to MCPSS COVID-19 closures

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — With Mobile County Public Schools closed for at least the first quarter, the district suggests parents who need someone to watch their students pay for childcare.

One parent told WKRG News 5 the nine-week closure will cost her more than $2,000.

Jennifer Jones told WKRG News 5 she and her husband now put half of each paycheck into child care. She said, “The reason why we chose to live in the area that we live in is because there’s good public schools out here, and we didn’t want to have to pay for private school to get a good education.”

With classrooms closed, Jones and other moms need somewhere for their students to learn. Jones said, “I wish that there was something different we could do, but we both need to work, and he has his own business, and if he’s not there then the business doesn’t survive, and I work in healthcare.”

Jones said she’s paying $260 each week for her two students. Over a nine-week period, that adds up to $2,340 for her elementary school kids.

Even though she and her husband pay for help, she says they still have to step up to the plate as educators after work.  “Some days they’re coming home and it’s getting done, and some days it’s not getting completely done, so you’re still you know you’re paying someone this amount of money to watch them and make sure they’re getting it done, and you’re still coming home from work at the end of the day and having to follow up,” she said.

Jones considers her family lucky they found child care they could afford. She says not everyone she knows is so fortunate. Jones said, “I know someone that they couldn’t find daycare, in an affordable range for them, and they didn’t have any family member that could stay home and watch their kids, so she ended up quitting her job because the cost of what it would be for daycare was just not what she was going to be able to afford.”

Jones said even with schools closed, putting her kids in daycare could still end with them getting coronavirus. She said, “There’s going to be a chance you’re going to get it no matter what, and the public school system suggesting we send them to daycares, and the YMCA, and Boys & Girls Clubs, and there’s a chance they’re going to get it there too.”

MCPSS hopes to reopen for face to face learning after the first nine weeks. Once a decision is made, information will be sent out to families and staff.

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