RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Despite the end of the government shutdown, furloughed federal workers still don’t have the money to pay for everyday expenses.
Because of this, area daycares are stepping up to the plate to help out parents by waiving fees and altering policies to help with the affordability of childcare services.
“When you have a family that comes to talk to you about not getting paid... your heart goes out to them,” said Dortheia Harper, center director at Brandermill KinderCare.
She says KinderCare will allow parents to suspend care of their children, while the standard policy was only to ‘disenroll’ students.
The change would have allowed parents to stop sending their kids in during the shutdown, and continue later on without having to re-pay enrollment fees.
Harper also said that KinderCare will accommodate parents who may be struggling to pay the steep weekly tuition fees.
“When they’re ready to come back to us, we’ll be ready to just go ahead and start their enrollment all over again with no registration fees, no late fees," Harper said.
The changes came about after a group of lawmakers - including US Senators Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D) - sent letters to major childcare providers urging them to help accommodate parents going through financial hardships from the shutdown.
Lorie Maness, who put four kids through daycare over the years, says this sort of help could go a long way.
“If I wasn’t getting a check, I wouldn’t be able to put my child in daycare. But I think it’s a great thing they’re doing," Maness said.
Kristin Coiner, whose children are currently enrolled at the Brandermill KinderCare, told us that “any help that people can get, they should get it."
Harper tells us that with the temporary end to the shutdown, KinderCare will keep the new policies in place to remain flexible for parents who may still be waiting the be paid.
They plan to re-discuss the policies leading up to Feb. 15.