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Returning to work with children without school:An unprecedented reconciliation problem

May 08, 2020

By Nachos Meneses from EL PAÍS, El Periodico Global

MAY 4th, 2020

With schools and many daycares closed, the gradual reincorporation of workers to their jobs worries many parents.

For Rubén and Mercedes, employees of a large company and parents of two six-year-olds, returning to work will not be as problematic as for many others. Based in Vigo, Spain, without schools, daycares or libraries open due to the pandemic, they have no one to leave their children with once they return to their jobs, soon approaching. But they at least managed to get the company to listen to their situation and allow them to change their shift in order to reduce their working hours so that their little ones are always accompanied. Others, on the other hand, are not having the same luck, and Rubén wonders: “There was a lot of interest in the minors going out for a walk, but now I don’t see any concern about how they are going to reconcile. The news about whether bars or hairdressers open, and if they all go back to work, who do the kids stay with? ”

As far as isolation is concerned, in 62% of households at least one of the parents has been able to work from home and thus take care of their children, according to a study by Yoopies. Of the rest, those who can afford it economically could hire a caregiver. But, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, even that is not feasible; either because they have to take care of their own children or because they do not want to risk taking the virus home. A dilemma with which families are sadly familiar with who, from the first day, had to leave the children with their grandparents, a group at risk, and have not seen them for a month and a half; or people who work in essential services and who have been endangering their families without the support of schools or anything, a service that has been available in other countries.

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