Employers, Daycares looking at ways to help relieve families for school year

COVID-19: Back To School

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Many families will be trying to find the balance between work and their child’s education.

Thousands of students around the area will be required to learn from home in some capacity to begin school this fall, as several districts in the area make decisions in the name of safety.

That safety may require sacrifice for many families.

At Cox Health, VP of Human Resources Andrew Hedgpeth says they are trying to gauge the needs of parents who work for them through a survey.

“Currently, we are evaluating what our capacity could be – the need for our employees. We know many of our employees have already responded survey, indicating at least preliminarily, that they will need some support on those virtual days. We’ve had about 475 employees respond,” says Hedgpeth.

While no plans are concrete, there are several aspects the hospital is looking at for that support.

“How we provide meals, how we can keep the students stimulated. Is there opportunity to partner with some of our school districts, some of our universities for student teaching and tutoring?” Hedgpeth says.

Students will still be expected to stay on track academically, which could stretch families thin.

The YMCA, and School Age Services Director, Kelly Keim, says they are looking at doing some things similar to the way they did in the Spring.

“We want to be able to offer care for parents because, like I said, they need to be able to go back to work or stay at work. But it’s just making sure we can legally do that with a licensure because all of our programs are licensed for before and after school when it comes to before and after school,” says Keim.

The hope is that the state could ease restrictions as they did in the Spring to allow them to host kids during regular school hours.

“We were able to get temporary licenses, and we had different times throughout the day where they were able to work on their homework. We don’t know what that would look like for the fall, and so we’re waiting for those answers to come through,” Keim explains.

Right around the time Springfield Public Schools released their plan to return to classes, the CDC released their determination that they lean towards the idea of children returning to school, citing lower risk among children.

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