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Working parents in S. Korea struggling to find childcare amid COVID-19 outbreak Updated: 2020-02-26 16:18:20 KST

Daycare centers across South Korea will be closed until the second week of March.

"To prevent further spread of COVID-19 among infants and children, daycare centers nationwide will be closed from Thursday to March 8th."

The government also recently suspended classes at kindergartens and schools nationwide and postponed the start of the school semester to March 9th.

With these measures, childcare 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-law's 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."

Some working parents are worried about sending their children to daycare centers but feel they have no other choice.

"Many kindergartens, daycare 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 daycare center in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do Province, said her business is doing its utmost in terms of hygiene control.
She also expressed concerns about the difficulties her daycare 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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