When students who would normally spend hours in school were suddenly working remotely this fall, parents were forced to scramble to figure out child care. There was some hope in August, when the state relaxed regulations to allow more organizations to set up child care facilities. But providers believe there's still more need than available spots.
Now, said Eve Gilmore, executive director of the nonprofit child care services provider Edward Street in Worcester, demand for school-aged child care is greater than the supply.
“We're running numbers now as we assess the need ... to try and put a plan together about how many more classrooms would need to be opened, in what neighborhoods and what would that cost,” said Gilmore, who has become a point-person in Worcester for coordinating child care needs during the pandemic.
So far, about $1.4 million in federal funding has helped support 85 new classroom-like spaces in the city, run by places like the YMCA of Central Massachusetts. But currently, Gilmore said, there’s no new funding for school-aged child care beyond January.
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