North Texans struggle to find childcare as employers reopen for business

Some North Texans say they can’t go back to work, even though their employers are reopening, because they can’t find childcare.

While the governor's office announced Thursday that unemployment would be extended for people who can't find childcare, many say that does not go far enough and they’re worried they will lose their jobs for good.

“I don't know how we are supposed to provide day care, schooling, and go to work all at the same time,” said Jennifer Beard.

She is the mother of five children – ages 14,13, 10, 2 and 1. She has been working from home, while her husband takes care of the kids and schoolwork.

They just got word Wednesday her husband can go back to his manufacturing job. The problem is the state isn't allowing their daycare to accept their children back.

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The response from her husband's employer was mixed.

“They said they can work with him a little while, but then would have to take appropriate action,” Beard said.

Daycares, like Kids Academy of Texas, tell us they are prepared to safely care for more children as the state slowly reopens. Kids Academy in Aledo has remained open to care for the children of essential employees.

“Take temperature get their things, we bring them inside, we wash up to elbows 20 seconds, then at pickup do it all again,” said Nicole Rivera, Kids Academy of Texas.

FOX4 asked the governor's office about the fear people have of losing their jobs while waiting for access to licensed childcare. A spokesman said the state is working hard on the topic, but Gov. Abbott wants the medical community's approval first. The governor's office says medical experts are not ready to expand day care access right away because children are hard to socially distance and spread germs easily.

A representative for daycares says that raises questions.

“As we bring folks back online, need to make sure they can access childcare. If they can't access childcare, maybe it is not time for us to be back to work. I think that is the question we need to ask policymakers,” said Seth Winick, Texas Licensed Child Care Association.

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