The coronavirus has left daycares struggling to keep their doors open. They’re now asking for your support before it’s too late.
“This is just a very uneasy feeling,” said Vonetta Rhodes, a parent who’s part of the Western New York Child Care Action Team.
Members of the team are pleading for help as the coronavirus has hit daycare and childcare centers hard across the area.
“We go out and shop for our own daycares as owners, we go to these stores where supplies are limited or they’re limiting the amount you can get so that makes it tough for supplies that’s needed,” said Latasha Simpson, the owner of the Gingerbread House Daycare Center in Buffalo.
”We do have to cut hours and we do have to lay people off,” said Felicia Williamson, the executive director of My Precious Angels Child Care Center.
Daycares and childcare centers have been deemed essential services that can remain open during the pandemic. The WNY Child Care Action Team, which advocates for local childcare providers, says a lot of places have seen their enrollment drop to 30%.
“It’s been overwhelming, we’ve lost a lot of children because parents just want to keep their children safe,” Simpson said.
Many childcare providers say they’re down to their last bit of supplies and any donation right now would help.
“Things like bleach, toilet paper, paper towel, diapers, and formula,” Williamson said.
Low enrollment and dwindling supplies have caused a lot of sleepless nights for childcare providers and left them with tough decisions to make.
“Right now there’s just so much uncertainty like, do I stay open because I know that we have parents who truly need our services and our care but then do I close because I want them to be able to stay home and I want my staff to be able to stay home,” said Cherish Davis, the director of the Queen City Early Childhood Center in Buffalo.
The action team wants better communication from leaders at all levels about how best they should move forward during the coronavirus outbreak. They’d even like to plan a roundtable discussion to further discuss their needs and see what resources could come their way.
“We do a lot for the community, being able to be here for the parents that still are on the front line, so help us out the same way you guys are helping everyone else out,” Williamson said.
If you would like to donate to these local daycares, you can drop off donations at the My Precious Angels Child Care Center at 1000 Main Street in Buffalo from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.