OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some of Oklahoma’s daycares are struggling to remain open.
More and more are closing. As of April, 734 daycares statewide temporarily closed their doors.
“There is always that underlying fear of what’s going to happen if we catch this, but everyone wants to make sure that we are on the frontlines,” said Katie Quebedeaux.
Katie Quebedeaux and her 20 employees at the Faith Learning Center are fighting the good fight.
“We are dedicated to staying open for our families,” she said.
Quebedeaux is also on the board of the Licensed Childcare Association of Oklahoma. She says throughout the state, facilities are struggling.
“We really need help,” said Quebedeaux.
COVID-19 is taking its toll on centers. DHS says statewide, 734 facilities have closed, hopefully, only temporarily.
“We’ve had a large drop off in the number of children. We want to, of course, keep our staff employed, so we need to keep that money coming in,” said Quebedeaux.
Those that are still open are scrambling for supplies. Lysol, gloves, hand sanitizer, even wipes and diapers, are all hard to come by.
“We spoke to a lady on the phone this morning who had been on the computer for over an hour trying to buy gloves just so she could do proper diaper changes,” said Quebedeaux.
And when they are found, supplies can come at a steep price.
“We spent $384 just to buy a set of 12 medical grade Lysol cans,” said Quebedeaux.
She says parents have been a godsend.
“Anytime they are at the store, they see extra wipes, they see Germ-X, they see extra diapers; they’re bringing us things just so we can stay in business,” said Quebedeaux.
But Quebedeaux says other facilities still need help.
“If it weren’t for childcare providers, the majority of Oklahomans would not be able to go to [their] jobs,” said Quebedeaux.
DHS says it’s working with statewide partners to get supplies to childcare facilities. If you have any supplies, consider donating to a facility near you. Childcare workers say even a simple “thank you” goes a long way.