As the coronavirus pandemic continues, local preschools are dealing with more kids and less toilet paper. So how are they coping?
Jennifer Carter runs the Oak Tree Learning Center in San Bernardino.
She says she’s seen an increase in kids at the preschool, as their parents – who maybe work jobs in the medical profession – are forced to work more hours.
Carter says there are major health concerns with all those kids together, as it’s hard for them to practice social distancing.
Carter: “They don't even understand what that means. And they're accustomed to being close to each other.”
Toilet paper is also hard to come by – so much so that parents are being asked to start sending their kids with a roll.
Carter: “It's like a treasure hunt, you know. Because a lot of places are limiting the number of rolls and packages you can have, but we need enough toilet paper for 60 people.”
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a paradox within the private preschool industry, Carter says: employees are considered essential, but are also undervalued and underpaid.
Carter: “It's a slap in the face because the economic reality of not being paid on par with other people hits you, conversations around universal childcare and things like that, were irrelevant until a moment like this when we're the only place that can provide the childcare.”
So preschool owners and directors like Carter are lobbying the governor for some support during the coronavirus pandemic.