This week, we’re going to spotlight one of the hot button issues at the intersection of employment and pandemic: how parents are going to cope in a fall without schools. Since March, when the earliest lockdowns began, we were already concerned with what would happen to parents facing school and childcare facility closures, working from home, not working at all, having to make choices between work and care. And, in our round ups of weekly FFCRA complaints, a clear trend emerged with wrongful terminations often due to parents taking legally allowed leave to provide childcare. With the FFCRA protections scheduled to expire at the end of the year and in-person schooling extremely unlikely for most, parenting and the childcare sector more broadly are at a precarious crossroad.
So, starting with today’s post we are going to shed light on what parents are trying to do to provide some form of structured education to kids who can’t go back to the classroom. The solutions mostly serve to deepen the relief of how class, race, and geography all continue to be important factors in the limits of parents’ abilities to provide children with a safe place to be while preserving parents’ energy and ability to work and care. They also demonstrate how care work is an infrastructure issue, because without care, parents - but mostly moms- are forced out of the workplace.
Over the course of the week we will look at the idea of pods, the costs of personalized teaching, what parents of children with special needs are doing, and how school districts are responding to the demand from parents to access teachers and educational resources for kids who have nowhere else to go.