childcare

Following a confirmed infection related to an Oklahoma childcare facility, Oklahoma’s State Department of Health issued new guidance on Thursday that will limit public access and bar sick children from the state’s childcare centers.

Under the new guidelines, parents are required to drop their children off at the door of the facility where their temperature will be taken before entry. Anyone with a fever above 100.4 degrees, symptoms of a respiratory infection like a cough or has come into contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last two weeks will not be allowed inside.

Though Oklahoma schools are closed for weeks and businesses are closing their doors, the state’s Department of Human Services is asking childcare centers to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department’s director Justin Brown says in a letter to childcare professionals, it’s vital that childcare centers stay open to care for the children of medical workers and other first responders. Brown also recommends that childcare centers take basic steps to reduce spread.

When Lesley Del Rio goes to the library to do her college math homework, she often has a study buddy: her precocious 8-year-old son, Leo.

Del Rio is working on her associate degree; Leo is working on third grade.

And Del Rio is not alone: More than 1 in 5 college students in the U.S. are raising kids. That's more than 4 million undergraduates, and they are disproportionately women and people of color. Of those students, more than half will leave school without getting a degree.

In the midst of a presidential budget proposal destined to generate controversy for its expected drastic spending cuts, White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump wants to have a conversation about increasing the availability and affordability of child care.

NPR has learned that the 2020 White House budget set to be released Monday will call for increased spending on child care and propose an initiative to address shortages.

At 10 o'clock in the morning, Austin Lanham should be working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center routing satellite communication.

But with the partial federal government shutdown, he's not working, deadlines are slipping, he's not getting paid and the preschool his two sons go to is shut down because it's on NASA's property. "Now I'm just a full-time stay at home dad," he says.

When Evan Taylor heard that Oklahoma teachers planned to walkout, he converted his small Tulsa church into a "glorified daycare" furnished with board games, crafts and a movies to keep kids entertained.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 5:25 p.m.

Public schools from every corner of the state closed their doors today as teachers walked out of the classroom and marched at the Oklahoma capitol to protest years of cuts to education funding.

Last week, Governor Mary Fallin signed the first statewide tax increase in nearly 30 years to give teachers a roughly $6,100 raise. The nearly $450 million deal increased taxes on cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas production in hopes of heading off the teacher walkout.

One of the most stressful questions a new parent confronts is, "Who's going to take care of my baby when I go back to work?"

Figuring out the answer to that question is often not easy. When NPR, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide about their child care experiences, a third reported difficulty finding care.

Student parent.

Ever heard that term? It's used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly 5 million of them in colleges around the country. That's over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.

It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you're in class.

In Greensboro, N.C., Eyeisha Holt spends her days as a full-time child care worker at Head Start. But after a decade's work in early education she still earns only $11.50 an hour — barely enough, she says, to cover the basics as a single mom of two. So every weekday evening she heads to her second job, as a babysitter.

"Are you ready to go to bed?" she asks, as she oversees bath time for her 3-year-old daughter and another of her charges. For 25 hours a week, Holt cares for toddler twins, in addition to her daughter and teenage son.

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