Childcare during childbirth with shelter in place?


We are due with our second end of June, and have a one and a half year old. We had already arranged with her home-based daycare that when I went into labor, our first born would stay there until we got back from the hospital as she would be the most comfortable spending the night/extended days there. However, with COVID, she's no longer going to the daycare as we're not essential workers (though they're still open and serving essential workers). If shelter in place is still happening in June/July, do you know if I'm still able to send her to the daycare just while I'm in labor? Not sure what the procedure is for childcare for medical reasons...(note, we don't have family in the area).

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I don't have official knowledge, but as a mom of two in daycare, I do think it depends on the daycare. I know some daycares have closed, but ours has not, and this is because (I believe) state and national guidance have exempted daycares from school closings. My best advice would be for you to talk to your daycare and let them know your need. They may be able to provide care for you, or else, perhaps they could arrange for an in-home provider that would be familiar to your family already. As it is a very fluid situation, I think the more transparent everybody is about needs and limitations for what can be offered, the better the chances are that you will be able to work something out. June/July may still be far off, but I'd start the conversation now. If you get the sense that they won't be able to help you, maybe you could start hiring a sitter just for familiarity and use that person down the line to care for your daughter while you are in the hospital. Good luck!

Your daycare will likely be able to accept your childcare since it is only for a day or two and you have a medical need for childcare.  But if nanny/babysitter/friend is a possibility, you might want to consider that instead.  Since the daycare is open for essential workers and those workers are still out there in the community and some might be health workers working with sick folks, the risk of your child catching a virus in daycare is higher than if you just used a nanny or sent your kid to a friend for a day or two.  If you were an essential worker and needed the daycare then the risk is bearable as children are for the most part doing ok and it is the same risk as any other essential worker family taking on, but consider if you are willing to take the risk for having your child exposed to several (10-12) kids of workers who are not currently sheltering in place just for one or two days of childcare and potentially bring it home to a newborn baby.