During a pandemic, everyone does what they can to help out, and, on Monday, Dec. 21, the Guilford County Social Services Department announced that it will be offering “an emergency childcare alternative” for many parents in a bind next year.

 The service will be provided at “specifically identified locations within the county to alleviate the pressures placed on Guilford County households resulting from COVID-19,” according to a Monday press release from the county. 

The program will provide childcare services for the first part of 2021, with plans for the service to run from January through May. 

According to the county, it’s “for children not currently receiving subsidy vouchers and [who] would formally be enrolled in an after-school program.”

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners discussed the issue earlier in the year when it was attempting to find solutions for parents who find themselves with few to no daycare options.  Some commissioners noted that, sometimes, having no childcare option means parents simply can’t go to work. 

Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson and other commissioners have expressed concerns that it’s very hard to verify which kids should be eligible for this type of service because it’s hard, if not impossible, to know which children would have been enrolled in an after school program if not for the pandemic.

The childcare program is being targeted at families with children in grades K-5 that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and by the need for remote learning for their child or children.

An online application is available at the county’s website at http://www.guilfordcountync.gov.

Applications will be open until February 28 or until all available slots are filled.  For additional information, you can contact the Guilford County Department of Social Services at 336-641-3000.