San Angelo, TX — In an effort to help address the need for childcare amid city-wide school closures, Kaitlyn Brosh, Director of Student Life, Marketing, and Outreach at Howard College, has created a resource to connect parents in need of childcare to providers who can offer babysitting services.
An email Brosh sent out on Saturday morning, March 14, read, “As many of you know, the school districts in the area are closed next week… This creates a childcare crisis for parents who still need to go to work/clinicals. If you are interested in babysitting next week or have availability to help someone out, a resource has been created to match parents and available baby sitters.”
“You will negotiate times and fees yourself. This resource is just to help connect people who are available and to those who need help.”
The resource is a shareable Google Docs spreadsheet in which parents in need of childcare and providers who can offer childcare can submit their contact information and availability.
When asked for comment on why she felt it was so important to provide a resource like this, Brosh said, ” Although I have childcare for next week, there are many who will be affected by schools being closed. It struck me that with the colleges closed there might be an opportunity for those students to partner with parents to help with childcare needs and the idea expanded from there.”
“I started with a general facebook post and decided we probably needed a mechanism to let individuals help each other without a “middle man”. We also have students who may need to be working this week, even though we don’t have classes. Some students also may be affected by their work locations closing or less people going to restaurants and paying tips, etc so they could be missing out on pay. This just felt like something that could be done to potentially help everyone,” said Brosh.
“I came up with the resource myself, personally with input from a couple friends. I created an email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” and am managing it from there. It isn’t the most high-tech option and there may be another resource out there that I’m not aware of, but I felt it was something I could do to help.”
Providers and parents are encouraged to abide by an “Honor System” in order to provide information about travel history and exposure risk.
The google doc can be found at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14mwh9Bzqp9AgWO4ZU5TLRkc7BhyP3Y5QAjTh5HW0BxI