COVID clusters at NC child care centers send parents searching for help with kids

Coronavirus

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) – COVID-19 clusters are causing closures at child care centers in North Carolina.

So what are parents supposed to do with their kids?

Ashleigh Vrooman has three children, aged four, three, and two.

They attend Widewaters Learning Center in Knightdale.

She showed CBS 17 the notification they received over the weekend that let parents know kids who attend the center need to quarantine for 14 days.

“Because of a COVID cluster,” explained Vrooman.

She appreciates they’re taking precautions since kids at these day care centers are often too young to get vaccinated and have difficulty wearing masks.

“We have an immunocompromised child, so we understand,” she said.

But the 14-day quarantine of child care facilities, compared to the new CDC recommendations for a five-day quarantine for adults and school-aged kids, is making it difficult for them.

“I can’t work from home. That’s no longer an option. We’re required to be in the building, so it’s no longer an option for me to be at home with my children,” said Vrooman. “I rely on day care so that we can work. Now we don’t have day care and we’re still required to be at work.”

It’s a strain that a lot of families are dealing with.

Ariel Ford is the state director for the Division of Child Development and Early Education.

Ford sent this statement to CBS17:

“We understand the hardship and sympathize with families of young children. However, the CDC has not yet changed their COVID-19 guidance for early care and learning programs. We are poised to revise our guidance as soon as they do and have urged them to act quickly.”

In the meantime, the Vroomans are trying to manage the best they can.

“We’re having to take turns, each having to stay home. We’re alternating our days off,” she said. “If we find short-term day care, we have to pay that, on top of our current day care.”

She’s hoping things change soon.

“There’s a problem and we need to fix it. Whether we have a different quarantine period or have a shutdown. I don’t know, but we need to figure out an answer for employers and parents.”

Per the NCDHHS website, there are four Wake County child care centers with COVID clusters.

It does not include Widewaters Learning Center, as the site is updated each Tuesday.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories