Facebook Mom group feeds are filled with posts and comments regarding the next big decision for parents: to send kids back to school or keep them at home for virtual schooling this fall.
The decision is agonizing. Moms (and kids) long for some semblance of normalcy while weighing serious health decisions about safety. To further complicate things, parents are faced with how to manage their roles as mom/dad, employee, and teacher. (Who can forget the Spring 2019 memes depicting moms day-drinking, night-drinking, and promising higher pay for teachers?)
We thought we’d share the top resources and reasons to help make the decision:
What do the Experts say?
In May, our friends at the Cen CDC Considerations for Schools
Recently released school safety guidelines are not helping to ease their minds. In June, Georgia’s Department of Education (GaDoe) released Georgia’s K-12 Recovery Plan. At the same time, the challenge of juggling mom + employee + teacher responsibilities remains fresh on the mind.
Learn More: Georgia Education and Child Care Standards
Atlanta babysitting app, SitterTree, has broadened its services to meet the needs of working families struggling to find sustainable child care. SitterTree offers families a simple platform to post jobs for pre-vetted college and young professional sitters near their home. Sitters undergo rigorous screening, including interviews and background checks, before gaining access to job postings.
Date-night babysitting may be on hold, but working parents have found their favorite sitters are more valuable than ever.
- Sitter Learning Assistants — while teachers share virtual lessons, learning assistants provide an extra hand (and focus) during 3+ hours of the virtual school day.
- Learning Pods — two to four families sign up and book together, cutting the hourly cost of booking a sitter by up to 4x! Great for moms of toddlers who would otherwise utilize cost-efficient group child care.
- Weekly Sitters — booking the same sitter on a consistent weekly basis provides structured work and playtime for moms and kids. Consistency also limits exposure.
In-home child care is the new norm. Due to health risks, grandparents are no longer a viable option. Moreover, daycares require children to remain home if any family member shows symptoms of coronavirus. Unfortunately, symptoms like these are the norm for preschoolers — even pre-Covid — and will ultimately lead to regular interruptions for working parents.
Sitters, meanwhile, are concerned for their own safety. They must take efforts to limit their exposure by working with fewer families — meaning the supply of sitters is limited. Scheduling back-to-school child care may be increasingly challenging for parents who wait.
Scheduling isn’t the only challenge. Cost has long been a barrier for families in need of reliable childcare, leading many families to opt for more affordable group settings.
Enter coronavirus. These same group settings are now a cause for concern.
Daycares protect families by requiring children to remain home for several days when any family member has symptoms of coronavirus (fever, cough, etc). Unfortunately, for families of preschoolers, these symptoms can be a weekly occurrence—making group childcare very unpredictable.
SitterTree offers families a more affordable and reliable means for booking in-home child care.
Families purchase a Sitter Pass for $30/month and set their own hourly rates* when posting jobs. Within minutes of posting, sitters begin applying. Parents can review individual profiles, reviews, and social distancing practices before selecting a sitter.
As businesses extend work-from-home options to their employees, they must also consider the cost of not assisting families with child care. SitterTree offers businesses an easy way to supplement child care expenses for essential staff. Employers may choose to cover monthly booking fees and/or supplement hourly wages paid to sitters.
SitterTree is not new to serving families in the Greater Atlanta area. Started in a dorm room at Oglethorpe University, in Brookhaven, SitterTree has completed more than 43,000 jobs to date. For more information, download the app or visit sittertree.com.
*Minimum required $13/hr rate, three-hour minimum required.