Megan Foote’s 3-year-old daughter had just started full-time child care -- after years of cobbling together care and relying on family and friends in Rutland County -- when the program had to shut down due to COVID-19.
Megan had to quickly pivot to working from home while caring for a toddler. From March to July 2020, Megan juggled attending Zoom meetings and entertaining her energetic 3-year-old. She was also pregnant with her second child.
“I just felt flustered all of the time. It was hard to feel like I wasn't giving 100% to anything, not as an employee and not as a parent,” Megan shared.
If her employer hadn’t been flexible and supportive, Megan said she would have had to quit and her family would have lost access to the health care benefits they rely on through her job (her husband is self-employed).
Megan’s now 10-month-old and 4-year-old daughters are both in full-time child care at programs she feels great about. The cost of full-time child care for two children, however, is more than Megan’s take-home pay.
Megan loves her job and feels like her children greatly benefit from being around kids their own age during the day. She also sees how much they are thriving with support from early educators who understand early childhood development.
“I love my job and I need to work to support my family. But without stable child care it’s just not possible,” Megan said. “I feel fortunate to have found spots for both my kids at high-quality programs and at the same time it’s a major financial stress. It just seems like it shouldn’t be this hard.”