MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - State funding for childcare for essential workers is set to end next week. Shelby County Schools is working to arrange supervision for virtual students who will not have anyone home to monitor them.
“I thought I had to put them in daycare. I had to put them somewhere,” said Terri Lee, parent of three SCS students.
Since the pandemic began, Terri Lee's three young children have spent their days at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis which has provided childcare for essential workers. Other organizations around the city have done the same including the YMCA.
Many received special funds from the state to provide free childcare to essential workers. A spokesperson from the state Department of Health and Human Services told WMC Action News 5 Thursday there is no plan, at this point, to extend funding past August 21.
"It's stressful because me working as a single parent," Lee said.
Lee is hoping to enroll her children while they begin virtual learning with SCS at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis. CEO Keith Blanchard said the club is working with SCS to create virtual club hubs -- where clubs would open for students to do their virtual work with in-person supervision.
Blanchard said an announcement about the opportunity will be announced once all the details are worked out with SCS. Same goes for the YMCA which said it will provide care for virtual learners with an announcement coming soon.
Lee said these organizations have been a lifeline for her and her children during this pandemic.
"It was so much weight off my back," Lee said. "I knew they were somewhere safe and I knew there were supervisors."
Blanchard said there will only be a limited number of spots in their virtual learning supervision programs, with a focus on children of essential workers and elementary school students.