AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — It’s that time of year again when students of all ages are getting ready to go back to school. But this year has been different, as school districts are still figuring out their plans of whether to have in person learning, online learning, or a combination of the two. With the virtual classes in mind, parents are turning to day cares.
“If they work, well you have to send them in daycare. And then you have people like me who are calling multiple places all over basically to be told that there aren’t any openings. So then, what to do you do? And nobody really seems to have the answer for that,” Michelle Pakutka of Scranton, said.
Michelle Pakutka is thankful that she has her mother to help take care of her three year old son, but she still is looking for a day care to keep him in while she is at work. So far -no luck. She says the search for a younger child itself has been difficult.
“You know you kind of have the stigma of ‘oh well people aren’t going back to work because they don’t want to work. But that’s not the case, you know. People can’t find the childcare that they need and the resources aren’t out there to accommodate everybody’s needs,” Pakutka said.
Emily Ludovici owns Stepping Stones Childcare Center in Avoca. Her childcare center is aligned with the Pittston Area School District, which is expected to return to in-person learning. But because the Scranton School District has announced virtual schooling, she says she’s heard rumors that the Pittston Area School District will follow. If it does, Ludovici says she neither has room for more children nor does she have the facilities to help with online school learning.
“The kids are in different grades with different teachers. Therefore they’d need to be talking over one an other, trying to pay attention to their teacher, not the kid next to them. Try not to pay attention to my one and two year olds who are running around and playing,” Ludovici said.
Relying on internet connectivity may also become an issue.
“I would have to bump it up which means higher costs during the day for their child and a higher WiFi bill for me,’ Ludovici said.
She says this is a very stressful time for all those involved.
“It’s simply a lot of anxiety about the upcoming weeks considering it’s August 17th and they’re going back in the less three weeks. So it’d be nice to have some answers so that we can plan,” Ludovici said.