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Childcare challenge: Parents still struggling with difficult decisions amid COVID-19 pandemic

"The pandemic kinda changed everything, with the remote learning, and I couldn't work the hours, so I left where I was," said one mom.

CLEVELAND — Child care during the first part of the pandemic had parents working from home with their kids, but now as women go back to work, things have changed.

"I think my mom brings me here," said three-year-old Kennady, who goes to work with her mom. 

Brittany Deranleau is a working mom who, like millions of other parents in the United States and across the world, has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic with what to do with her child. 

"That was our biggest fear, is she wasn't going to get the right education at that time. Nobody knew what was happening," said Brittany. 

So, the mom took matters into her own hands. She decided to take a job at Sweet Kiddles, a daycare in Cleveland. She wasn't alone, either. 

"The pandemic kinda changed everything, with the remote learning, and I couldn't work the hours, so I left where I was," says Sarah Graceffo, who also works at Sweet Kiddles. 

Sarah left her former job because this one has flex hours, workers at Sweet Kiddles also get a discount on their own childcare

"We give our staff from six weeks to up to three years old 50 percent off. And 3-years-and older, it's actually free," Jackie Tracz, Sweet Kiddles manager. 

Sweet Kiddles has five locations. Like other businesses, their staff is down by 20 to 25 percent. Ashley Toussant has worked here for 2 years and says that, as a mother, it’s been tough for her.

"It's a fine line you have to go through and decisions you have to make," says Toussant. 

Brittany says that if companies want mothers to come back to work, flexibility is the answer. 

"This company especially is very flexible very, we're very family-oriented, we are like a family, together," Brittany says. 


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Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, related story. 

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