I would like to applaud the authorities for their decision to re-open daycare centres. Since the announcement of the Early Endemic Phase, and working parents have been asked to return to the office, those with young children found themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Now, there’s a collective sigh of relief as they can rest assured that their children are in good hands.
However, due to the current guidelines, parents with children aged two and below continue to struggle until the implementation of further de-escalation. This is also the group of people that need the most help. They tend to be younger, and are likely at the start of their careers, thus feeling stretched from the demands from all fronts.
Even for parents with children of eligible age, there is the issue of capacity. The current number of daycare centres is a reflection of the market demand. But the limit placed on capacity means some parents still find themselves in the same sticky situation as before – nowhere to place their children while they are at work. While I understand that such a measure is necessary to keep the COVID-19 threats at bay, there needs to be an all-encompassing solution; or at least one that is more inclusive.
It’s been two years since our country has been hit by the pandemic. The new normal is here to stay; there’s no doubt about it. However, we are also at a crossroads where we want to continue with our old way of life but there are limitations as to how far we can forge ahead with the desire. Perhaps the better solution is to have a total makeover – to rethink the way we approach our day-to-day. If there’s a lesson to be had from the second wave, it is that in this digital age, working from home is completely doable for certain lines of work.