LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some Jefferson County Public Schools parents say they're now scrambling to find childcare one day after the school board made a last-minute change to elementary school schedules.
Elementary school students will attend in-person classes twice a week, and will participate in remote learning three days a week on a similar schedule as middle and high schools, according to the approved reopening plan. The original plan proposed in-person learning five days a week.
"We are out of childcare. We don't have it anymore," said Steve Ullum. While he's happy his kids will be going back to school, Ullum is not pleased with the hybrid schedule.
"There's not exactly a plethora of openings in childcares around town right now, so it's created a mess," he said.
For many parents, expenses incurred due to NTI will keep piling on, as kids who opt for in-person instruction will remain on virtual learning for three days a week.
"We're paying for private tutoring and private (occupational therapy) to help, which was an extra expense," said Kara Mudd, whose son is in fourth grade. "I also really feel for the families that aren't able to do those things."
Other elementary parents felt blindsided by the school board's last-minute decision.
"I was like, yes, my son needs to be back in school. Two days, I'll take it. And then I went, um, what am I gonna do for the other three days?" said Sara Hagan.
Her son is part of an NTI pod with a classmate's family, who offers childcare during Hagan's work hours, but the upcoming hybrid schedule splits them apart.
"We're at the beginning of the alphabet, and he's at the end. He'll be (in school) on Thursday/Friday, and we'll be Monday/Tuesday," she said.
Parents like Ullum, who are involved in the "Let Them Learn In JCPS" parent group, plan to take their fight to Frankfort.
"We will be lobbying the state to try to get this changed, because we believe our kids should be back full-time," he said.
The YMCA of Greater Louisville released the following statement to WDRB about the continuation of its Childcare Enrichment Program (CEP) during hybrid learning:
"The YMCA of Greater Louisville is working diligently with our partners at JCPS to develop a plan for providing the Childcare Enrichment Program when Jefferson County schools return to partial in-person learning next month. While we do not have details available at this point, we understand parents are concerned and we will work as quickly as possible through this rapidly-changing and complex situation. We are gratified that we have been providing child care safely throughout the pandemic and look forward to continuing to do so. We will communicate with families as soon as we have more details available. The most up-to-date information will also be available on our website: www.ymcalouisvillechildcare.org
--Steve Tarver, President/CEO of YMCA of Greater Louisville
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