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Parents stressed over job requirements, child care facility closures due to coronavirus concerns

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 15:23:51-04

TAMPA, Fla.— Some parents are in a pinch as they look for someone to watch their children. This all comes after schools and daycares were shut down in the Tampa Bay area amid coronavirus concerns.

"They’ve had to shut down the daycare,” said Andrea Chidester. "I didn’t really know what I was going to do.”

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Chidester is a foster mom to a five and eight year old. She’s also juggling her job in healthcare, which is considered to be essential employment.

Her role at work doesn’t stop, even though her children’s child care facility shut down due to the coronavirus.

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"It can just be emotionally draining at times,” said Chidester.

Chidester found out Friday afternoon the child care center for her kids would close. It left her with just a few days to find an alternative.

Many other options proved to be too costly.

"[I] basically asked my friends, 'hey can you take shifts to watch the kids?'” she said.

Chidester is among the many other parents faced with hard choices of balancing child care and work during the current health pandemic.

Earlier this week, counties in the Tampa Bay area closed their recreational activities and programs. However, online resources for babysitting services are still available in the area.

Chidester wants other parents to understand it may take the community coming together to find a solution for families.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all have to ask for help right now,” said Chidester.