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Working parents in S. Korea struggling to find child care amid COVID-19 outbreak Updated: 2020-02-26 13:46:45 KST

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, child care has become a pressing issue for working parents in South Korea.

"Classes where my first child attends have closed indefinitely and other private educational institutes that my children go to have shut for up to a week. So I had to go to Daejeon to drop them off at my parents in-laws' house."

Another working mom said she was sad because she was forced to miss a meaningful event she had been looking forward to.

"My child's graduation ceremony was canceled when it should have been celebrated. I know the cancellation was inevitable, but it was really sad because it got called off so abruptly."

She added the outbreak is driving her to buy produts online due to the rapid uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases.

"Because we don't know when this will end, myself and other moms keep buying products online."

The government recently suspended classes at kindergartens and schools nationwide and postponed the start of the semester to March 9th.
It also advised other organizations visited regularly by children to close temporarily amid concerns the virus could strike the younger population.

"Many kindergartens, day care centers and private educational institutes across South Korea are closed due to the outbreak. But they are running emergency operations to help working people who are in desperate need of childcare."

The head of a day care center in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do Province, said her business is doing its utmost in terms of hygiene control.
However, some parents are worried that they will inevitably have to send their children to the day care center when other parents keep their children at home.
She also expressed concerns about the difficulties her day care center is experiencing.

"We hired new teachers to ensure a good children-teacher ratio. But because many children are staying at home, my new teachers cannot start working."

She added many parents worry they might not be able to go back to work if this outbreak lasts an extended period of time.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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